Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left) receives the legal instruments for joining the Paris Agreement from Barack Obama, President of the United States, at a special ceremony held in Hangzhou, China (3 September 2016).
Photo: © UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Paris Agreement moves towards entering into force

60 Countries, including China and the USA, accounting for close to 48 per cent of emissions have now joined the Paris Agreement. India announced it will ratify the Paris Agreement in October 2016.

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement in September 2016 at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Several large emitting countries which had not yet completed their domestic approval processes in time for the event also announced they were committed to joining the agreement this year.

The Paris Agreement will enter into force 30 days after 55 countries, representing 55 per cent of global emissions, deposit their instruments of ratification, acceptance or accession with the Secretary-General.

One of the two thresholds for entry into force has now been met. There are now 60 countries that have joined the agreement— more than the required 55 needed. These countries represent 48 per cent of global emissions, just shy of the 55 per cent needed for entry into force.

In early September, the world’s two largest emitters, China and the USA, joined the Agreement, providing considerable impetus for other countries to quickly complete their domestic ratification or approval processes.

The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced in late September at an event of his Bharatiya Janata Party that India would ratify the Paris agreement on 2 October 2016, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi. India is the world’s third largest producer of greenhouse gas, after the USA and China.

Countries depositing their instruments of ratification at the event in September 2016 (31) included: 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.

Countries announcing their commitment to join the Agreement in 2016 included (14):Austria, Australia, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, European Union, France, Germany, Hungary, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, Poland, and the Republic of Korea.

On 22 April this year, 175 world leaders signed the Paris Agreement, the most to ever sign a treaty on a single day. By the end of September 2016, 190 will have signed the Agreement.

 (UN/ile)