60 Countries Ratify Paris Climate Agreement; 48% Emissions Covered

This brings the Agreement close to the threshold of 55 percent of emissions needed for it to come to force.

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Thirty one new countries ratified the Paris Agreement on climate change in a special event hosted by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon on Wednesday, a press release by the World Resource Institute said.

This brings the total to 60 countries, representing 48 percent of emissions. This also brings the Agreement close to the threshold of 55 countries representing at least 55 percent of global emissions that will trigger the Agreement to enter into force 30 days hence.

“We need 7.5 percent of global emissions more to be covered to reach threshold of 55 percent of global emissions. I am confident that by the time I leave office this year, the Paris Agreement will have entered into force,” Ban Ki-moon said. 

Ban, who has made climate change a top priority since he became secretary-general nearly 10 years ago, had urged world leaders in his keynote speech at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday to bring the Paris Agreement into force by the end of the year.

“The Earth assails us with rising seas, record heat and extreme storms,” Ban said. “With the Paris Agreement on climate change, we are tackling the defining challenge of our time.”

Reacting to the news, Paula Caballero, Global Director, Climate Program, World Resources Institute said:

With 31 more countries joining, it is abundantly clear that support for the Paris Agreement is unwavering. The global community is rallying behind swift and ambitious action to combat climate change.

More than 170 world leaders have signed the deal, but it won’t take effect until 55 countries accounting for at least 55 percent of global emissions have ratified or accepted it through their domestic procedures.

That was initially expected to take several years, but after Wednesday, the Agreement has sailed past another milestone. The world’s two biggest emitters, the United States and China, have already ratified the deal.

Source: World Resource Institute

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