Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, said: “The entry into force of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change holds particular promise for the urgent and accelerated implementation of the fight against climate change, which is now needed to achieve a better and safer world and to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.” The agreement stipulates that this entry-into-force condition must be calculated on the basis of the most current amount communicated by the parties to the agreement on or before the date of the conclusion of the agreement (i.e. when the agreement is signed on 12 December 2015). These amounts were included in this table. The Paris Agreement is considered “under” the UNFCCC. The UNFCCC is a relatively widespread framework agreement in international environmental law. Framework conventions define the general parameters of a regime, including objectives, fundamental principles, the general obligations of their parties and a general system of governance, and leave detailed rules and procedures to achieve the objectives of subsequent agreements. This will ensure that all parties to the Paris Agreement operate within the parameters defined by the UNFCCC. The agreement will enter into force in time for the Marrakesh Climate Change Conference (COP 22) to be held in Morocco in November, at which countries will convene the first meeting of the contracting parties to the agreement. Countries that have not yet joined can participate as observers.

“This is an important opportunity,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, when the latest ratification instruments were accepted as a table. “What seemed unthinkable is now inexorable. The strong international support for the entry into force of the Paris Agreement demonstrates the urgency of the measures and reflects the consensus of governments that robust global cooperation based on national measures is essential to address the climate challenge. In addition to the individual countries, it is necessary to look separately at how the European Union will accede to the agreement. The EU will probably have to work with its 28 member states. In addition to each Member State concluding its internal authorisation procedures, the Council of Ministers must also, with the agreement of the European Parliament, take a ratification decision. This could take a few years to ensure that the arrangements necessary for the distribution of efforts between EU Member States exist. Current practice indicates that the EU and its Member States are likely to table their ratification instruments at the same time. The Paris agreement will officially enter into force next month, with legally binding countries ratifying it to honour commitments made last year.

The Paris Agreement on Climate Change, a pioneering treaty signed by UNFCCC members in December 2015, came into force today (4 November). To date, 94 of the 192 signatories have ratified the agreement, which exceeds the threshold for ratification by “at least 55 parties to the convention,” which account for a total of at least 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions, so that the agreement can enter into force. The European Union ratified the agreement in October 2015 and ensured its implementation 30 days later, in accordance with the agreement. India had ratified the agreement on 2 October, while other major emitters had submitted their ratification instruments to China and the United States a month earlier.