United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has invited leaders from all countries to attend a special event on 21 September to deposit their instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession to the Paris Agreement on climate change. The event will also provide an opportunity to other countries to publicly commit to joining or ratifying the agreement before the end of 2016.
The agreement will enter into force 30 days after at least 55 countries, accounting for 55 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, deposit their instruments of ratification or acceptance with the Secretary-General.
It is expected that the September event will help efforts to secure early entry into force of the agreement.
In an extraordinary show of support for the Paris climate agreement, 175 countries signed the Paris Agreement at a ceremony in New York on 22 April, far exceeding the historical record for first-day signatures to an international agreement. Signing is the first step toward joining the Agreement, and must be followed by the deposit of the instrument of ratification or acceptance. So far, 19 countries have ratified the Agreement. Many others, including the United States and China, have publicly committed to joining the Paris Agreement this year.
The Paris Climate Agreement, adopted by 195 parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) last December in Paris, calls on countries to combat climate change and to accelerate and intensify the actions and investments needed for a sustainable low carbon future.
The Paris Agreement marked a watershed moment in taking action on climate change. After years of negotiation, countries agreed to limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius, while pursuing efforts to keep temperature rise to 1.5 degrees.
Even as the agreement was adopted, countries recognized that present pledges to reduce emissions were still insufficient to reach these goals. The Paris Agreement mandates regular meetings every five years, starting in 2018, to review progress and to consider whether it is necessary to increase ambition.