The Paris Agreement – a landmark global deal to fight climate change adopted on 12 December last year in Paris – is entering into force today, thus boosting the world’s efforts to address environmental changes facing our generation. The central aim of the deal is to boost the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping the global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
“This is a momentous occasion,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as the latest instruments of ratification were accepted in deposit. “What once seemed unthinkable, is now unstoppable. Strong international support for the Paris Agreement entering into force is a testament to the urgency for action, and reflects the consensus of governments that robust global cooperation, grounded in national action, is essential to meet the climate challenge.” Ban Ki-Moon, however, warned that there is a lot of work to implement the agreement: “Now we must move from words to deeds and put Paris into action. We need all hands on deck – every part of society must be mobilized to reduce emissions and help communities adapt to inevitable climate impacts.”
Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, commented that “above all, entry into force bodes well for the urgent, accelerated implementation of climate action that is now needed to realize a better, more secure world and to support also the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals.” She added that the deal “also brings a renewed urgency to the many issues governments are advancing to ensure full implementation of the Agreement,” while stressing that “this includes development of a rule book to operationalize the agreement and how international cooperation and much bigger flows of finance can speed up and scale up national climate action plans.”
Under the provisions of the agreement, it shall enter into force after 55 countries representing at least 55 percent of the world’s emissions have ratified it. As of today, 73 countries and the EU have embraced the deal, which comes right in time for the Marrakech Climate Conference (COP22) in Morocco in November, where countries will convene the first Meeting of the Parties to the Agreement.