Australia has signed the Paris climate change agreement

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Australia has signed the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, joining more than 170 countries in their commitment to cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

The deal was signed by environment minister Greg Hunt at the United Nations headquarters in New York, on Earth Day.

“We will now move immediately to the ratification process to bring this treaty into effect and to bind Australia,” Hunt said on Twitter.

“Beyond that, we’ve also put forward the initiatives for an international blue carbon partnership to protect the mangroves of the world and an international rainforest agreement to protect the great forests.”

Hunt said that Australia would be “seeking to ratify by the end of the year”.

The landmark accord to cut greenhouse gas emissions by the second half of the century was reached earlier in December last year at the Paris climate change summit.

The deal will come into effect once 55 countries responsible for 55% of the world’s greenhouse gases have ratified the agreement.

Australia is currently looking to reduce emissions to 26-28% on 2005 levels by 2030.

Here was Hunt’s message after signing the agreement.