Paris Climate Agreement ratified in record time

The news that the Paris Agreement will come into force on November 4th (11 months) is great news. The original UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was signed on the 4th of June and came into force on the 21st of March 1994  - twenty one months later. The Kyoto Protocol to the UNFCCC was signed on the 11th of December 1997 but did  come into force until the 18th of February 2005 - over eight years later.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said.

“This is a momentous occasion,” Secretary-General said after the deal was ratified by 72 countries accounting for more than 56 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Global momentum for the Paris Agreement to enter into force in 2016 has been remarkable. What once seemed unthinkable is now unstoppable. Strong international support for the Paris Agreement entering into force is a testament to the urgency for action, and reflects the consensus of governments that robust global cooperation, grounded in national action, is essential to meet the climate challenge,”
India which is the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases, ratified the Paris climate agreement on Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday (October 2) and with the European Union and some of their key countries on mass ratifying it means that by the opening of the Morocco UNFCCC meeting on the 7th of November we can celebrate the achievement one day before the US election.
Clearly this is a huge success for the UN, member states and stakeholders there is lots to be done but at last there seems to be the political will to address the huge challenges we are facing. I write his as hurricane Matthew is starting to hit Florida having devastated parts of the Caribbean.

The Secretary General will leave office with two huge parts of his agenda now engaged in implementation the Sustainable Development Goals and the Climate Agreement. Its a shame that the Quito Habitat 3 conference will not add to that success. It does very little to advance either of the other agendas and will be seen be many as a huge lost opportunity to accelerate change in our communities.


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