Paris Agreement Closer to an Early Entry Into Force

On September 21, 2016, the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Patricia Espinosa, announced that 31 governments had joined the Paris Agreement on climate change. The move takes the number of State parties up to 60, representing 47.76% of global emissions, moving close to the 55% of global emissions needed to trigger the treaty’s entry into force. In addition, another group of 14 States, representing 12.58% of emissions, expressed their commitment to ratify, accept, and approve of acceding to the Agreement this year. Advocates of the treaty hope that these countries will come through on their commitments, boosting the current representation of global greenhouse gas emissions to the needed 55%. There is hope that this will happen before governments meet for the next round of negotiations in Marrakesh, Morocco in November. In a special event, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon recalled that “it can sometimes take years or even decades for a treaty to come into force.” According to him, the fact that the treaty has reached so many ratifications just nine months since the Paris Climate Conference is “testament to the urgency of the [climate change] crisis we all face.”

The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015. The Agreement’s possible early entry into force is expected to lead to the following outcomes: (1) the holding of the First Conference of the Parties to the Paris Agreement; (2) the transformation of the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) submitted in the run up to the Paris Conference into Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs); and (3) the binding obligation upon States to take action to achieve the two temperature limits as established in the Agreement.

Countries that just deposited their instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession to the treaty:

  1. Albania
  2. Antigua and Barbuda
  3. Argentina
  4. Bangladesh
  5. Belarus
  6. Brazil
  7. Brunei Darussalam
  8. Dominica
  9. Ghana
  10. Guinea
  11. Honduras
  12. Iceland
  13. Kiribati
  14. Madagascar
  15. Mexico
  16. Mongolia
  17. Morocco
  18. Namibia
  19. Niger
  20. Panama
  21. Papua New Guinea
  22. Senegal
  23. Singapore
  24. Solomon Islands
  25. Sri Lanka
  26. Swaziland
  27. Thailand
  28. Tonga
  29. Uganda
  30. United Arab Emirates
  31. Vanuatu

Countries that announced their commitment to join the Agreement in 2016:

  1. Austria
  2. Australia
  3. Bulgaria
  4. Cambodia
  5. Canada
  6. Costa Rica
  7. Cote d’Ivoire
  8. France
  9. Germany
  10. Hungary
  11. Kazakhstan
  12. New Zealand
  13. Poland
  14. Republic of Korea.


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