The single most significant international agreed upon recognition of climate change requiring countries across the world to take action, the Paris Climate Change Agreement, will go into effect! That happened yesterday (Oct. 5) and now 74 nations—out of 197—representing 58.8 percent of the world’s emissions have ratified the agreement, allowing it to enter into force in early November 2016.
When the agreement passed in December 2015 it required at least 55 parties that together produce at least 55 percent of the global greenhouse gas emissions to ratify it before it could go into effect. In the past, the majority of international accords on climate change didn’t pass or were significantly diluted. This one, however, was agreed upon by 191 countries shortly after the resolution passed. The agreement will mean, among other things, more deployment of renewable energy like solar and wind power and a reduction of fossil-fuel fired—particularly coal—power plants.
"Strong international support for the Paris Agreement entering into force is testament to the urgency for action, and reflects the consensus of governments that robust global cooperation is essential to meet the climate challenge,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
The US and China ratified the agreement in September. Upon the news yesterday President Obama said: Last month, the United States and China—the world’s two largest economies and largest emitters—formally joined that agreement together. And today, the world has officially crossed the threshold for the Paris Agreement to take effect,” Obama said speech. “Today, the world meets the moment. And if we follow through on the commitments that this agreement embodies, history may well judge it as a turning point for our planet.”
“This is a truly historic moment for people everywhere. The two key thresholds needed for the Paris Climate Change Agreement to become legal reality have now been met,” said Patricia Espinosa, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). “The speed at which countries have made the Paris’s Agreement’s entry into force possible is unprecedented in recent experience of international agreements and is a powerful confirmation of the importance nations attach to combating climate change and realizing the multitude of opportunities inherent in the Paris Agreement.”
The UN stated that its entry into force launches a governing body, known as the CMA. In addition, under the agreement, nation’s announced plans can only be strengthened, not weakened over time. “Climate action by countries, companies, investors and cities, regions, territories and states has continued unabated since Paris and the full implementation of the agreement will ensure that this collective effort will continue to double and redouble until a sustainable future is secured,” Espinosa said.
That agreement includes a pledge of $100 billion by developed countries to support developing nations. That money will be used to help leverage $5 to $7 trillion from investors, banks and the private sector to support worldwidede transformation to fight climate change.
“This agreement will help delay or avoid some of the worst consequences of climate change. It will help other nations ratchet down their dangerous carbon emissions over time, and set bolder targets as technology advances, all under a strong system of transparency that allows each nation to evaluate the progress of all other nations. And by sending a signal that this is going to be our future—a clean energy future—it opens up the floodgates for businesses and scientists, and engineers to unleash high-tech, low-carbon investment and innovation at a scale that we’ve never seen before. So this gives us the best possible shot to save the one planet we’ve got,” Obama remarked.Tweet