Mali ratifies Paris Agreement, signatories now 191


Few days after 31 United Nations member states joined the League of Nations that ratified the historic Paris Agreement during the special event convened by the UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon on September 21, the government of Mali at the weekend also ratified the agreement.

With this move on September 23, the number of nations that have deposited their instruments of ratification increases to 61 while those that have signed the Agreement is now 191.

At the twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties (COP), held in Paris, France, the Parties adopted the Paris Climate Change Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The Agreement was opened for signature on 22 April 2016 at a high-level signature ceremony convened by the Secretary General in New York. At that ceremony, 174 States and the European Union signed the agreement and 15 States also deposited their instruments of ratification.

As of 23 September 2016, there are 191 signatories to the Paris Agreement.  Of these, 61 States have also deposited their instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval accounting in total for 47.79%% of the total global greenhouse gas emissions.

The Agreement shall enter into force on the thirtieth day after the date on which at least 55 Parties to the Convention accounting in total for at least an estimated 55 % of the total global greenhouse gas emissions have deposited their instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession with the Depositary.

Meanwhile, the United Nations has said 14 countries, representing 12.58 percent of emissions, committed to joining the agreement in 2016, virtually assuring that the Agreement will enter into force this year.

“This momentum is remarkable,” Mr. Ban said. “It can sometimes take years or even decades for a treaty to enter into force. It is just nine months since the Paris climate conference. This is testament to the urgency of the crisis we all face.”

In early September, the world’s two largest emitters, China and the United States, joined the Agreement, providing considerable impetus for other countries to quickly complete their domestic ratification or approval processes.

The early entry into force of the Paris Agreement would trigger the operational provisions of the agreement and accelerate efforts to limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius, and to build climate resilience.

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 how to strengthen the level of ambition.

Countries announcing their commitment to join the Agreement in 2016 included (14):  Austria, Australia, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, European Union, France, Germany, Hungary, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, Poland, and the Republic of Korea.