logo
menu

Paris climate change deal becomes international law

The Paris agreement on climate change has come into force today (4 November, 2016).

This marks the first time that governments have agreed legally binding limits to global temperature rises.

Under the agreement, all governments that have ratified the accord, which includes the US, China, India and the EU, now carry an obligation to hold global warming to no more than 2C above pre-industrial levels. That is what scientists regard as the limit of safety, beyond which climate change is likely to become catastrophic and irreversible.

International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Director-General Adnan Z. Amin issued the following statement upon the entry into force of the Paris Agreement today: “IRENA welcomes the entry into force of the Paris Agreement and congratulates those Parties whose leadership made this a reality. The fact that this happened more quickly than anyone thought possible, sends a clear signal that governments are prepared to take urgent, decisive action. Renewable energy is central to that action, as reflected by its inclusion in the nationally determined contributions of nearly 150 governments.

“IRENA also welcomes the bold commitments made by the private sector, which is further bolstering momentum. But this is only the beginning. Turning commitments into action must start now so that history will view this moment as a watershed for the global energy transition; the moment we rolled up our sleeves and decided to get the job done.

“Renewable energy has made remarkable progress in the last decade, transforming from an almost attainable option, to one that is economically and technically preferable. Combined with energy efficiency, it provides an immediate, viable and affordable solution to the challenge of climate change.

“IRENA stands ready to support countries to achieve their climate action strategies through the scale up of renewable energy.” 

‘Sustainable future’

Patricia Espinosa, the UN’s climate chief, and Salaheddine Mezouar, foreign minister of Morocco, said in a joint statement: “Humanity will look back on 4 November 2016 as the day that countries of the world shut the door on inevitable climate disaster and set off with determination towards a sustainable future.

 “The Paris agreement is undoubtedly a turning point in the history of common human endeavour, capturing the combined political, economic and social will of governments, cities, regions and businesses and investors to overcome the existential threat of unchecked climate change.”

Lord Turner, former head of the UK government’s statutory advisory committee on climate change, said: “The fact that this crucial UN agreement is coming into force within a year of signing is a hugely important achievement, and the good news is that agreement to the Paris deal is being matched by real progress in many countries.”





216 queries in 0.443 seconds.