Weekly Current Affairs

Paris climate treaty clears first hurdle to early entry into force [Environment]

  • Thirty one countries submitted their ratification instruments for Paris climate treaty to UN, bringing the total count of countries that have endorsed the treaty to 60, accounting for nearly 48 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
  • However, the total global emissions count currently falls short of the requisite 55 per cent for the treaty to enter into force.
  • 14 more countries will join later in 2016, virtually assuring entry into force.
  • Eager to leave behind a legacy of positive climate action, before he exits office next year, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon pushed countries to come forward and ratify the treaty at the earliest possible.
  • The U.S. government too has been keen to see through the treaty before President Barack Obama exits office next year.
  • The continued strong global momentum for climate action was unprecedented. Most international treaties take several years to enter into force. The Kyoto Protocol had entered into force eight years after it was first signed in 1997.
  • The European Union with its bloc of 28 countries could likely provide a major boost to the Paris treaty’s early entry into force. But there have been fears that the impact of Brexit and Poland’s ongoing constitutional crisis could delay the ratification process of the Paris treaty.
  • As of now, only five EU member countries have ratified the treaty at home.