During a meeting of the U.N. General Assembly in New York destined for the history books, 31 governments ratified the agreement they signed in Paris last year for COP21. The so-called Paris Climate Change Agreement involves action that would limit warming to well below two degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial average. Now, the number of parties who have ratified the agreement has crossed the “55 nations” threshold which is one of two key thresholds required for the text to come into force.
“As of 21 September we have 60 Parties who have deposited the relevant instruments adding to the 29 who deposited their instruments over the past few months—this is an extraordinary momentum by nations and a clear signal of their determination to implement Paris now and raise ambition over the decades to come,” said Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in a statement.
“We now look forward to the final threshold that will, 30 days later, trigger entry into force. Namely, at least 55 per cent of the global greenhouse gas emissions also being covered by Parties who have ratified, accepted, approved or acceded to the Paris Agreement with the UN’s Depositary,” added Ms Espinosa.
At today’s special U.N. meeting, Albania, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bangladesh, Belarus, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Dominica, Ghana, Guinea, Honduras, Iceland, Kiribati, Madagascar, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Namibia, Niger, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Senegal, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Thailand, Tonga, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, and Vanuatu, all agreed to deposit their instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession of the Paris agreement.
The outcome of the meeting was to be expected, as I reported earlier in an optimistic article where I suggest the Paris Agreement might come into force as early as this year, and no later than the first half of 2017. What’s pulling us down at the moment? That would be the second half of Article 21, paragraph 1 of the Paris Agreement which states the pact will come into force when at least 55 countries that collectively sum at least 55% of the world’s carbon emissions. Right now, the covered emissions by the ratified partners total 47.76 percent, so just a shy away from the this stated threshold.
“Today we can say with ever more confidence that this historic moment is likely to come very soon, perhaps even by the time governments meet for the next round of climate negotiations in Marrakech, Morocco in November,” Espinosa said.
“Daily, positive announcements of climate action by nations but also companies, investors and cities, regions, territories and states have been a hallmark of 2016. The urgency is to evolve this ever higher in the years and decades to come,” she add.