Australian Federal Environmental Minister Greg Hunt joins leaders from more than 170 countries in New York to sign the Paris climate agreement.

More than 170 countries, including Australia pledged their support to this climate agreement. The Paris climate agreement aims to limit global warming by at least two degrees. The signing comes on the heels of the government’s commitment of $11 million towards projects to improve the water quality of the Great Barrier Reef states

This agreement comes into force only after 55 countries responsible for 55 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases ratify the accord. Even China has announced that it will finalise its domestic procedures to endorse the agreement ahead of G-20 summit reveals ABC News.

According to RTE, 15 small-island states have already ratified this agreement. “This is a moment in history,” said Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General at the UN General Assembly. “We are in a race against time. The window for keeping global temperature rise well below two degrees Celsius, let alone 1.5 degrees, is rapidly closing. The era of consumption without consequences is over,” he added.

Oscar winner Leonardo DiCaprio addressed the gathering. He told world leaders that the world is watching them. “You will either be lauded by future generations or vilified by them,” he said. “We can congratulate each other today, but it will mean absolutely nothing if you return to your countries and fail to push beyond the promises of this historic agreement,” he added.

Australian Federal Environmental Minister Hunt has promised that Australia will beat its Kyoto emission reduction targets by 78 million tonnes. The country also aims to decrease emissions by 26–28 percent below 2005 levels to meet its 2030 target. “These are some of the highest targets anywhere in the world and certainly on a per capita basis we’re right at the top,” said Hunt.

However, Greens Senator Larissa Waters believes that the talk doesn’t measure up to anything unless backed by a solid plan of action.