Historic Paris Agreement comes into force

  • Paula Bennett
Climate Change Issues

Climate Change Minister Paula Bennett has welcomed the historic Paris Agreement, which comes into force today.

“Today is a momentous day internationally in that we have an agreement at scale that climate change is a global problem,” Mrs Bennett says.

The Paris Agreement formalises the legal framework for all countries to take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

So far 87 countries have ratified the Paris Agreement including New Zealand, which ratified on 5 October, 2016. New Zealand’s ratification helped the agreement cross the threshold for entry of 55 countries representing 55 per cent of global emissions.

“This is the first time all nations have agreed to take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on a common legal footing”, Mrs Bennett says.

“The speed at which the Paris Agreement has come into force is unprecedented and underlines the urgency needed to make significant and sustainable changes to reduce emissions. New Zealand’s ratification guarantees we can participate in any decision-making under the Paris Agreement at the COP 22 meeting, to be held in Morocco this month.”

COP 22 is the first major UN climate meeting since last December’s landmark meeting in Paris where countries adopted the first ever universal global climate deal.

Mrs Bennett will travel to the meeting in Marrakech, Morocco, on 14 November to deliver New Zealand’s national statement to the COP and the CMA, the governing body of the Paris Agreement which will meet for the first time on November 15.

The New Zealand delegation will meet counterparts from major and agricultural economies and Pacific neighbours and will represent the country at events designed to accelerate collaborative climate action and exchange views on progress in delivering support to developing countries.

Mrs Bennett will chair New Zealand-led events to galvanise action on removal of fossil fuel subsidies and support development of international carbon markets.