Paris Agreement implementation green light for climate action: UNFCCC

New Delhi, Nov 4 (IANS) Early implementation of the historic Paris Agreement is a common political will to avoid the worst impacts of climate change and a worldwide green light for climate action, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) said on Friday.

The Paris Climate Change Agreement — the result of the most complex, comprehensive and critical international climate negotiation ever attempted — became an international law on Friday.

So far, 97 countries, including India, accounting for just over two-thirds of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, have formally joined the accord, which aims to limit global warming to two degrees Celsius.

“The Paris Agreement’s ambitious and essential goals are now a live reality for every government. From today, ever-increasing climate action becomes an accepted responsibility and a central part of the sustainable development plans of all countries,” a statement said quoting UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa.

The international effort to bring the Paris Agreement into force in less than a year — an unexpectedly rapid result — reflects the strong, common political will to shift as quickly as possible towards the low-carbon regime.

“Climate action — faster, smarter, bigger and better — reduces the greenhouse gas emissions which drive climate change and at the same time catalyses the clean power economies and climate-resilient societies, which are the foundation on which the future health, wealth and well-being of all people now depend,” Espinosa said.

The Paris Agreement’s primary goal — to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius and as close to 1.5 degrees Celsius as possible to prevent dangerous tipping points in the climate system — means that global emissions must peak soon then be driven down very rapidly.

A big green light for faster, stronger climate action was switched on as the Paris Climate Change Agreement entered into force, only three days before the start of this year’s UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakech in Morocco November 7 to 18, said the UNFCCC.

Next week at UN climate change conference in Marrakech, the first meeting of the Paris Agreement’s governing body, known as the CMA, will take place during it on November 15.

Marrakech also gives developed countries the opportunity to present their roadmap to mobilise the pledged 100 billion dollars in annual support to developing countries by 2020.

Last year, countries of the world constructed a fresh, integrated vision for the future which rests firmly on the Paris Agreement, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

“These momentous agreements must succeed together and require unprecedented scale and depth of universal and concerted action involving all governments,” said the Executive Secretary.

The Paris Agreement has broken all records in the collective efforts to address climate change, said Christiana Figueres, Convenor of Mission 2020 and former UNFCCC Executive Secretary.

“Just 10 months ago, despite the enormous momentum around the Paris Agreement, no one thought it could enter into force until 2020,” said World Resources Institute Climate Program Global Director Paula Caballero.

The Paris Agreement was hailed by the corporate world too.

“We must now, governments and businesses together, turn the vision of a carbon emission-free economy into reality,” said Philippe Joubert, chair of The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group.

The Paris Agreement was adopted in Paris, France, at the UN climate conference in December 2015. In order to enter into force, at least 55 Parties accounting for at least 55 per cent of the global greenhouse gas emissions were required, with the Agreement then entering into force 30 days later.

India on October 2 deposited its Instrument of Ratification of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change at the United Nations.

(Vishal Gulati can be contacted at vishal.g@ians.in)

–IANS

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