175 Parties (174 countries and the European Union) signed up to the Paris Climate Change Agreement, adopted last December, at a ceremony at UN Headquarters on 22 April 2016. This is a historical record for first-day signatures to an international agreement.
The ceremony, held the first day the Paris Agreement was open for signature, marked the initial step toward ensuring the agreement enters into force. The agreement can enter into force 30 days after 55 Parties accounting for 55 per cent of global emissions deposit their instruments of ratification.
Fifteen countries submitted their ratifications during the signing ceremony, including small island developing countries that are on the frontlines of climate impacts. (These countries included the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Somalia, State of Palestine, Barbados, Belize, Fiji, Grenada, Saint Kitts & Nevis, Samoa, Tuvalu, Maldives, Saint Lucia, and Mauritius).
Several countries announced plans to join the agreement in 2016, including Australia, Argentina, Cameroon, Canada, China, France, Mali, Mexico, Philippines, and the United States. Other countries, including Brazil, the European Union, and the Russian Federation, pledged to swiftly work to complete the necessary steps for joining the agreement.
With signing the Paris Agreement, countries agreed to limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius, while pursuing efforts to keep temperature rise to 1.5 degrees.
Even as the agreement was adopted, countries recognized that present pledges to reduce emissions were still insufficient to reach these goals. The Paris Agreement mandates regular meetings every five years, starting in 2018, to review progress, and to consider whether it is necessary to increase ambition.
For further information: UN