Paris Agreement comes into force today

Illustration (Image: flickr/Olearys)
Illustration (Image: flickr/Olearys)

The Paris Climate Change Agreement will enter into force today, November 4, after the threshold required for that was crossed a month earlier.

In order for Paris Agreement to enter into force, at least 55 Parties accounting for at least 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions needed to deposit their instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession to the agreement, which was achieved on October 5, 2016.

Under the Paris Agreement, all nations have agreed to combat climate change and to unleash actions and investment towards a low carbon, resilient and sustainable future that will keep a global average temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius with the accepted international aim of working to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The agreement is entering into force ahead of the upcoming annual UN climate conference, known as COP22, taking place in Marrakesh, Morocco from November 7-18, during which the agreement’s governing body, known as the CMA, will be launched.

“Humanity will look back on November 4, 2016, as the day that countries of the world shut the door on inevitable climate disaster and set off with determination towards a sustainable future,” Patricia Espinosa, UNFCCC Executive Secretary, and Salaheddine Mezouar, President of COP22 and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Kingdom of Morocco, said in a joint statement. “Its early entry into force is a clear political signal that all the nations of the world are devoted to decisive global action on climate change.”

Adnan Amin, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) General Director, said: “IRENA welcomes the entry into force of the Paris Agreement and congratulates those Parties whose leadership made this a reality. The fact that this happened more quickly than anyone thought possible, sends a clear signal that governments are prepared to take urgent, decisive action.

“Renewable energy is central to that action, as reflected by its inclusion in the nationally determined contributions of nearly 150 governments.”