Paris Agreement on Climate Change Enter Into Force

10th October 2016 The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has announced that as at Wednesday, 5 October 2016, 74 Parties (countries) to the Convention accounting in total for 58.82 per cent of the total global greenhouse gas emissions have deposited their instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval. This includes the biggest and smallest emitters, the richest and the most vulnerable nations.

 

In accordance with Article 21, paragraph 1 of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the Agreement will therefore enter into force on Friday, 4 November 2016.

The Paris Agreement was adopted in Paris, France at the UN climate conference in December 2015. In order to enter into force, at least 55 Parties accounting for at least 55 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions were required, with the Agreement then entering into force 30 days later.

“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 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 and their leaders attach to combating climate change and realizing the multitude of opportunities inherent in the Paris Agreement,” she added.

“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,” Ms. Espinosa said.

In a statement issued before the threshold for ratification of the Paris Agreement was crossed, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said: "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."

The entry into force triggers the launch of the Agreement’s governing body, known as the CMA (the Conference of the Parties to the Convention serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement).

First CMA will take place at the upcoming annual UN climate conference, known as COP22, in Marrakesh, Morocco from November 7-18.

Moreover, the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) – national climate action plans - of Parties which have joined or subsequently join the Agreement transform into Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), including Tonga.

Governments will also be obligated to take action to achieve the temperature goals enshrined in the Agreement – keeping the average global temperature rise from pre-industrial times below 2 degrees C and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees.

The entry into force of the Paris Agreement is more than a step on the road. It is an extraordinary political achievement which has opened the door to a fundamental shift in the way the world sees, prepares for and acts on climate change through stronger action at all levels of government, business, investment and civil society.

Tonga signed the Paris Agreement in April this year by the Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Siaosi Sovaleni, and ratified last month in New York by the Prime Minister, Hon. Samiuela ‘Akilisi Pohiva.

 

About the UNFCCC : With 197 Parties, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has near universal membership and is the parent treaty of the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement. The main aim of the Paris Agreement is to keep a global average temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The UNFCCC is also the parent treaty of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The ultimate objective of all agreements under the UNFCCC is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system, in a time frame which allows ecosystems to adapt naturally and enables sustainable development.

 

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Issued by : Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communications.