The Paris Agreement to address climate change, adopted by world leaders in December 2015 at the Climate Conference in Paris (COP21), will officially enter into force on Friday.
According to a statement that was issued on Wednesday by the UN, the agreement would be reached before the opening of COP22 in Morocco, between November 7 and 18.
“The entry into force of the Paris Agreement will mark the beginning of a new chapter for humankind and demonstrates that countries are serious about addressing climate change,” the statement said.
It quoted the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon as saying: “To commemorate this historic day for people and the planet, I have invited representatives of civil society groups to a conversation with me at the UN headquarters.
“This meeting will provide civil society groups with the opportunity to share with me how their organisations will contribute to the objectives of the Paris Agreement, as well as their visions and concerns.
“The strong international support for the Paris Agreement entering into force is a testament to the urgency for action,” he said.
Mr. Ban said that it would reflect the consensus of governments “that robust global cooperation, grounded in national action, is essential to meet the climate challenge. Now we must move from words to deeds and put Paris Agreement into action.
“We need all hands on deck and every part of society must be mobilised to reduce emissions and help communities adapt to inevitable climate impacts.
“The Agreement provides that it shall enter into force 30 days after 55 countries, representing 55 per cent of global emissions, have deposited their instruments of ratification, acceptance or accession with me,” he said.
According to the statement, so far, 73 countries and the EU have joined the Agreement, exceeding the 55 per cent threshold for emissions.
Mr. Ban said that the requirements for entry into force were satisfied on October 6.
“When Austria, Bolivia, Canada, France, Germany, Hungary, Malta, Nepal, Portugal and Slovakia, as well as the European Union, deposited their instruments of ratification with me.
“These countries were the latest to join the Agreement, following New Zealand, India, and the 31 countries which joined on Sept. 21 during the General Assembly at a special event,’’ he said.
In early September, the world’s two largest emitters, China and the U.S., joined the Paris Agreement, providing the impetus for other countries to quickly complete their domestic ratification or approval processes.
Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, said: “the entry into force bodes well for the urgent accelerated implementation of climate action.
“It is now needed to realise a better, more secure world and to support also the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals,” she said.