Paris agreement to come into force ‘by end of the year’, says Ban Ki-Moon

23 Sep 16

The historic global climate deal brokered in Paris in 2015 is likely to come into force by the end of the year, United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon has said.

 

Ban’s comments come after 31 nations ratified the landmark accord at the UN General Assembly in New York. For the deal to come into force, 55 nations, representing at least 55% of global emissions, need to sign up.

With the new signatories announced at the general assembly this week, 60 countries representing 47.7% have formally joined the agreement, which aims to limit global warming to less than 2°C above pre-industrial levels. Its ambition is to go no higher than 1.5°C.

Brazil, the world’s seventh largest emitter of greenhouse gases, formerly ratified the agreement this week, joined by Mexico, Angola, Argentina, Thailand and Sri Lanka. Uganda, the United Arab Emirates, Bangladesh and a number of other nations across the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East and Asia also signed up.

“What once seemed impossible now seems inevitable,” said Ban. “When this year ends, I hope we can look back with pride knowing that we seized the opportunity to protect our common home.

“I feel more confident than ever that the Paris agreement will enter into force this year. I appeal to all leaders to accelerate domestic arrangements to join.”

A number of big emitters, including India, Russia, Germany, the EU as a whole, Canada and South Korea, also still need to ratify the deal. Aside from India and Russia, most of those have committed to doing so by the end of the year.

Australia, the world’s seventeenth largest emitter, has said it will make its “best endeavours” to ratify this year. The world is also still waiting on Saudi Arabia, Japan and Iran, all in the top ten.

The world’s two largest emitters, China and the US, ratified the deal in a rare show of cooperative spirit earlier this month at the G20 meetings in Hangzhou, China.

Outgoing US president Barack Obama has championed the deal, but depending on who succeeds him, the nascent leadership the country has shown on combating climate change may be short lived.

Barbara Buchner, executive director of climate finance at Climate Policy Initiative, highlighted that while nations and businesses have put forward strong ideas for climate action, “implementation is still a challenge, especially when it comes to investment”.

As a result, earlier this week a network of governments, investors, businesses and foundations launched a call for ideas to accelerate finance for climate mitigation and adaptation.

The call was generated by three new partnerships between public and private actors: the Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance, the Fire Awards, and the India Innovation Lab for Green Finance.

They include members from the Dutch, Danish, German, Indian, UK and US governments and businesses, private investors such as Bank of America Merril Lynch, BlackRock, Deutsche Bank and development finance institutions such as the African Development Bank and the World Bank.

“By identifying and fast-tracking ideas that can drive investment into key sectors like energy efficiency, sustainable transport and climate resilience, we can move quickly toward the action needed, pushing the needle toward a more sustainable, climate-resilient economy,” said Buchner.

  • Emma Rumney

    Emma is a reporter at Cooking Recipes International. She also writes for in the UK.

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