Paris Agreement Update

Monday, November 07, 2016

Paris Agreement Ratified on Record Time: Parties Ready to Get the Ball Rolling

October 2016 will be a month to remember as it witnessed the achievement of double of the required threshold for the Paris Agreement to entry into force. The Paris Agreement will commence starting November 4, only thirty days after at least 55 Parties accounting for at least an estimated total of 55 % of the total global greenhouse gas emissions have deposited their instruments of consent. Better yet, 92 of the 197 Parties to the Convention have currently ratified the Paris Agreement.

As the Convention Parties prepare to roll up their sleeves, the next key milestone they are likely to face is the summary and successful conclusion of negotiations to develop the rule book that will allow implementation to begin formally. The first session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA 1) will take place in Marrakech in conjunction with COP 22 and the twelfth session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 12).

Universally adopted in December 2015, and having ratified during 2016, The Paris Agreement requires all Parties to put forward their best efforts through “nationally determined contributions” (NDCs) and to strengthen these efforts in the years ahead. Furthermore, all Parties will report on a regular basis on their emissions and mitigation efforts.

Moreover, in 2018, Parties will take stock of the collective efforts in relation to progress towards the goal set in Paris, and to inform on the progress of “nationally determined contributions” (NDCs). There will also be a global assessment every 5 years to evaluate the collective progress towards achieving the purpose of the Agreement and to inform further individual actions by Parties.

The importance of the Paris Agreement relies in the fact that for the first time nations come around a common cause to embark on ambitious efforts to mitigate climate change and adapt to its effects, while based in the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, providing developing countries incremental support in this pathway. The Agreement’s fundamental objective is to strengthen the global response before the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and direct efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.