The climate agreement enters into force

On the evening of 5 October, the European Union and 10 countries handed over the instruments of ratification. The formal requirements have been met. The climate agreement will enter into force on 4 November 2016, just in time for the Marrakech climate summit. The dot over the 'i' was, of course, put by the European Union.

A total of 73 countries and the European Union collectively responsible for 58.82% of global greenhouse gas emissions have ratified the climate agreement. On Wednesday, 5 October, Austria, Bolivia, France, Canada, Malta, Nepal, Germany, Portugal, Slovakia, Hungary and the European Union handed over the documents. The Paris Agreement will formally enter into force in 30 days. Up to and including 4 October, 63 countries responsible for more than 52% of global greenhouse gas emissions had completed the process.

Just yesterday morning, we were less than 3% short of the agreement entering into force. By late afternoon, we had exceeded the 55% ceiling, i.e. we had met the second formal requirement for the climate agreement to enter into force. This evening is historic. The European Union played a very important role in this.

comments Krzysztof Jędrzejewski, policy spokesperson for the Climate Coalition.

The Union adopted the fast track of ratifying the agreement without waiting for all Member States to do so. Yesterday it handed in the relevant documents as a community. The EU as a whole is responsible for around 12% of global greenhouse gas emissions. However, only those countries that have ratified count towards the formal requirements for the agreement to enter into force. The relevant documents were handed over yesterday by as many as seven EU Member States, which account for 4.55% of global greenhouse gas emissions, exceeding the required ceiling of 55%.

As it turns out, Poland has no intention of lagging behind. The government and the Parliament have also accelerated the whole process. This morning, 6 October, the Sejm voted almost unanimously to ratify the Paris Agreement. As many as 402 MPs were in favour, 36 against and no one abstained. The Senate passed the bill without amendments at an express pace. The law now awaits only the signature of President Andrzej Duda.

Of course, we both very much welcome the fact that the EU has ratified the agreement. We are also pleased that the Sejm voted in favour of ratification by such a large majority. However, we must remember that the entry into force of the agreement is only the beginning of climate protection measures, not the end. We hope that Poland will not limit itself to merely pointing out the role of forests in absorbing CO2, but will take active measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A low-carbon economy, a move away from burning fossil fuels and the development of renewable energy sources must finally be recognised as an opportunity rather than a threat to our development and the creation of new jobs.

Krzysztof Jędrzejewski, spokesperson on policy issues for the Climate Coalition, emphasises.


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