The landmark Paris Agreement on climate change will come into force in November after a key threshold on ratifying the deal was met last week.
The UN confirmed on Wednesday that the climate treaty would take effect from November 4, after the European Union voted to ratify the historic agreement negotiated in Paris last December by almost 200 nations. The EU, with 28 members, accounts for 12 per cent of global emissions, which is enough to reach the 55 per cent threshold needed for the agreement to enter into force.
The President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, said the European Union had “turned climate ambition into climate action” . The Paris Agreement commits to keep global temperature increase “well below” 2C and to try to limit them to 1.5C. It requires a total of 55 countries responsible for 55% of global emissions to ratify the Paris Agreement for it to come into force. The first threshold was reached last month when 31 nations signed up to the landmark accord at a ceremony at the UN in New York.
Describing the agreement as “now unstoppable”, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, said: ”I am delighted to announce that today the Paris Agreement will cross the second and final threshold needed for entry into force, and will enter into force on 4 November 2016.”
A total of 73 countries out of 197 who negotiated the deal in Paris have now ratified, including the UK and the world’s two biggest greenhouse gas emitters – the US and China.
President Barack Obama hailed the news as “a turning point for our planet.”
The Paris Agreement will come into force in time for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCCC) next annual meeting (COP22) in Marrakech, Morocco on November 7 2016.