There was positive climate change news this week, well, for a change.
By completing the Paris Agreement ratification process on Monday, Brazil became the third large country after the United States and China to do so, bringing the world another step closer to the agreement’s entry into force (EIF) threshold.
The historic climate change treaty, the first to commit nearly all countries to contribute to cutting the greenhouse gas emissions responsible for the crisis, commences 30 days after 55 countries representing at least 55% of global emissions have registered their formal accession with the United Nations.
Just a year ago, few would have imagined that the historic treaty would be this close to taking effect, but unprecedented political support for climate action in global capitals around the world has ushered the process along.
AOSIS has encouraged as many countries as possible to ratify as soon as possible. “We have said all along that the progress in Paris was just the start of a generational challenge that will demand political support for years to come. The first step is to bring the agreement into force so we can implement its objectives in earnest,” said Thoriq Ibrahim, the AOSIS Chair.
But even as support for the Paris Agreement has exceeded expectations, there is no guarantee the EIF thresholds will be met this year. So far 19 AOSIS members have ratified, with Maldives becoming the fourth to do so–by far the most of any group and more are expected in September at a special event held by the United Nations Secretary General. Many other countries will also complete the formal ratification process there too.
If the thresholds are reached with that event, COP 22 in Morocco would become the first meeting of parties to the Paris Agreement, building political momentum for implementation and getting a jumpstart on a process that has been delayed for far too long.
That’s a change we should all welcome, but it won’t happen on its own.