Paris Agreement enters into force in record time, marking continued global momentum on climate action

EDF statement from Nathaniel Keohane, Vice President, Global Climate

October 5, 2016
Contact: 
Jennifer Andreassen, +1-202-288-4867, jandreassen@edf.org

(October 5, 2016)  The Paris climate agreement will enter into force in 30 days, with 72 countries representing 56.75% of global greenhouse gas emissions having ratified the agreement. Originally slated to take effect by 2020, the Paris Agreement will now enter into force on November 4, 2016 because the threshold of 55 countries representing 55 percent of global emissions has been reached. The first meeting of countries party to the Paris Agreement will now take place in Marrakesh, Morocco during this year’s climate talks, known as COP 22, November 7-18.

“Less than a year after the Paris Agreement was adopted, we have reached the thresholds for entry into force in record time for a climate agreement — marking another major milestone in the history of climate action. The swiftness with which countries joined the agreement, four years earlier than originally anticipated, shows they recognize the urgency of fighting climate change, and demonstrates clear momentum around the globe to address climate change. But we have no time to waste. Countries now need to translate their climate commitments into concrete actions, and get to work implementing their pledges. 

“The agreement’s early entry into force should motivate governments to speed up implementation of the agreement.  A strong transparency framework for countries to report emissions and progress toward meeting their targets, along with robust accounting rules to avoid double counting, will be critical to realizing the promise of Paris. Greater ambition over time starts with a strong framework for countries to demonstrate credibly and transparently how they are making progress in reducing emissions – in order to build trust that targets are being met, and confidence that countries can do more.

“Early entry into force should also add a sense of urgency to the work of the COP in Marrakech in November.  Negotiators need to roll up their sleeves and get to work on the rules and guidance that will put Paris into practice. And countries need to start the process of revising and strengthening their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) for submission by 2020.  

“Early entry into force of the agreement also provides policy certainty needed by investors, the private sector, and the public. It sends a powerful, immediate signal to global markets that governments take the agreement seriously, and that this is the time to invest in clean energy.”

“This may prove to be a historic week for climate action in another way as well, as the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is on the cusp of reaching the first global agreement limiting the CO2 emissions of an entire industry sector – international aviation.  The market-based measure could secure 2.5 billion tons of avoided carbon pollution over the first fifteen years of the program – a vital step forward.  While much more work will be needed to translate the promise of the ICAO market-based measure into reality and strengthen it going forward, strong support for the measure from over 180 nations, airlines, manufacturers, and broad segments of civil society underscore that the world is beginning to unite around the need for fast action on climate change.” 

·       Nathaniel Keohane, Vice President, Global Climate, Environmental Defense Fund

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