In the last 10 days, ratification of the Paris Agreement jumped from 25 countries representing a very small amount of global GHG emissions to more than half the countries and 80% of the emissions required to bring it into force.
As we blogged last April after the signing ceremony in New York, the magic numbers per Article 21 are 55 countries and 55% of emissions. The Marshall Island predicted a few weeks ago that this could be achieved in 2016. About 10 days ago, on the eve of the G20 meeting, the U.S. and China deposited their instruments of ratification with the UN, thereby binding each country to the Paris Agreement. Three days ago, Brazil ratified the Agreement domestically. Although it has not yet deposited its ratification instrument with the UN, it intends to do so next week. While the UNFCCC website ratification counter still shows 27 counties and 39% of emissions, the World Resources Institute’s tracker has added in Brazil’s ratification, thus ending this week’s progress at 28 countries and 41.56% of global GHG emissions.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon is hosting a high level event on September 21 to encourage countries to ratify the Agreement during the UN General Assembly’s annual meeting in New York. Climate Home quotes Ban’s chief climate adviser, Selwin Hart, stating that 20 countries plan to ratify the Paris Agreement next Wednesday, including Mexico and Brazil. Although the EU could put ratifications over the top, both in terms of countries (28) and emissions (about 12%), EU leaders have indicated since last December that the federation’s ratification process does not move quickly and so has signaled a 2017 ratification, at the earliest. Nonetheless, European leaders currently meeting in Bratislava to plan for a post-Brexit EU say that they are trying to speed up the process. Jos Delbeke, the European Commission’s director general for climate, says that “We’re all accelerating our procedures. If the leaders could discuss speeding up ratification processes at the national level and if they could agree on a light procedure for the EU ratification, then we could make it by Oct 7. If that happens then the EU will probably trigger the entry of the agreement into force.”