Paris Agreement: Activists back ratification progress, want early entry into force


With 60 countries, accounting for 47.6 percent of global emissions, now ratifying the Paris Agreement, the finish line to ensuring the double-threshold of 55 countries, accounting for 55 percent of emissions, is clearly in sight.

Speaking at a high-level ceremony bringing together countries to ratify the Paris Agreement, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and US Secretary of State John Kerry today expressed optimism that the Paris Agreement would come into force within 2016.

Climate Action Network welcomes the progress made on ratification and we call upon the remaining countries to ratify the Paris Agreement as soon as possible so as to reach the threshold on emissions and allow this historic deal to preserve our planet for future generations to come into force and be implemented.

“The Paris Agreement was only a start to building international consensus to fight climate change. It is a fight that requires every country, city, business and citizen to do all that they can, as quickly as they can, to scale-down the pace of, and ultimately halt, climate change.

The prospect of this Agreement coming into force in just a year is a clear signal that we have absolutely no time to waste and its implementation must begin in earnest,” said Wael Hmaidan, Director, Climate Action Network International

CAN members reacted to the progress on ratification:“Today’s announcement marks a major tipping point in our planet’s history. Countries have come together at an unprecedented and historic rate to continue the progress the world made in Paris last year, and we applaud the collective global leadership that has driven us to this moment. With the Paris Agreement’s imminent entry into force on the horizon, we wholeheartedly look forward to doing our part to continue the work toward a thriving clean energy economy, a stable climate, and a healthy planet,” said Sierra Club’s Executive Director, Michael Brune.

“CARE welcomes the prospects for an early entry into force of the Paris Agreement already in 2016 and urges all other countries to rapidly ratify. But ratification is not enough: Governments in particular from the most powerful countries need to cut emissions quickly in light of the 1.5 degrees C limit. More resources are needed to help the most vulnerable women, men, girls and boys build their resilience to climate impacts and disasters, and protect those displaced from climate loss and damage, an increasing harm recognised at this week’s UN Refugee summit,” said Sven Harmeling CARE International



“World leaders have kick started efforts in the ever-increasing battle against climate change, but we are still further than we had hoped we would be today.  Early entry into force of the Agreement less than a year since Paris would have been an important signal and step forward to protect the lives of millions of people around the world.

European countries’ failure to ratify today is a dent in the climate leadership it has prided itself on previously.  The EU must now swiftly agree to ratification. And in order to reclaim its role as a true climate leader it must take early action, before 2020, to ensure that keeping the world below 1.5C degree warming is not an elusive dream,” said Adriano Campolina, ActionAid Chief Executive

“Today’s announcement that the Paris Agreement will take effect this year is good news for the planet, and underscores the growing momentum for climate action.   But much work remains ahead on both implementing and raising the ambition of countries’ emissions reduction commitments, if we’re to reach the Paris goal of net zero global warming emissions by mid-century and avoid the worst impacts of climate change,” said Alden Meyer, Director of Strategy and Policy, Union of Concerned Scientists

“The ratification of the Paris Agreement by 60 countries sends a very clear signal that the world is serious about climate action. What worries us is that Europe and Germany are now at risk of being left behind in the transition to a decarbonized world economy, after years of investment in climate solutions. We call on Germany and the EU to ratify the Paris Agreement and deposit their instruments with the UN in the next few weeks. To regain ground in the decarbonization race, Chancellor Merkel also needs to significantly improve the draft 2050 climate plan her government is currently debating – right now, Germany is not on track to meet its Paris commitments,” said Lutz Weischer, Team Leader International Climate Policy, Germanwatch.

“The historic pace at which countries are joining the Paris agreement brings it significantly closer to entering into force, yet there remains a massive gap between what the agreement calls for and what world governments are actually doing to meet these targets.

Each of the last 16 consecutive months have been the hottest in history, with 2016 shaping up to be the hottest year on record — a title that we’re getting far too accustomed to applying year after year. Around the world, there is a powerful and growing fossil fuel resistance movement that is pushing our institutions and governments to divest and break free from fossil fuels to prioritize people and planet,”said May Boeve, Executive Director.

“Today’s ratification announcements inject more momentum into the Paris Agreement and are important steps towards getting real action to start. We are pleased to note that the EU, while feeling the international pressure, finally recognised the urgency and is willing to show unity and move its ratification forward. Leaving New York, EU decision-makers must get into poll position and use this opportunity to translate crucial parts of the Agreement into real action. This includes being pro-active and agreeing now on a process to increase its weak 2030 target by the next big international moment in 2018 the latest,” said Wendel Trio, Director at Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe.