Experts on Wednesday hailed a climate change agreement in Paris last December, saying it would give the world an opportunity to prevent negative effects on the environment.
During a panel discussion on the subject in New York, Adnan Z. Amin, who heads the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), said the world reached "a very significant moment" with the deal.
"Paris is the beginning of a new paradigm ... where there is a high and reliable commitment by countries -- a level of commitment that we haven't seen for a long time," he said.
The 2015 Paris Climate Conference, or COP21, saw steps toward the first universal agreement on climate change as every country around the world agreed to take significant steps toward curbing carbon emissions and fighting climate change.
"We went around the bush, making difficult decisions over the last couple of years," Amin said, referring to long negotiations between the countries. "We have to make sure to seize this opportunity."
Some countries that greatly rely on oil and gas production and exports for their economies, could see pressure under the new agreement.
But the United Arab Emirates, which hopes the deal will help diversifying its economy and foster growth, welcomes the agreement, according to the country’s climate change and environment minister.
Noting that his country benefitted strongly from growth and momentum in hydrocarbon economy, Dr. Thani al Zeyoudi said: "We don't want our economy based on volatile oil prices."
Al Zeyoudi said that although hydrocarbons will continue to be a significant part of the world's energy mix, they present serious environmental challenges. "Climate change and sustainability have become our national vision," he said.
Amin pointed to the use of renewable energy and said: "If we can double the use of renewables in global energy mix by 2030, we have a very strong chance to limit the increase in global temperature below 2 degrees Celsius."
The Paris Agreement is expected to be signed Friday by 160 countries in a ceremony at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
"This would be a landmark in international law, as the number of signatories of the Paris agreement would then surpass the previous record of 119 signatures for an opening day signing for an international agreement, set by the Law of the Sea in Montego Bay in 1982," the U.N. said in a statement.
By Ovunc Kutlu in New York