The Paris Climate Agreement is on track to enter into force on November 5, 2016, following the European Union submitting ratification documents to the United Nations on October 5, 2016. The EU decision follows the ratification by both the United States and China and means that a total of 72 countries have now ratified the Agreement. These nations account for 56.75 percent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions. The Agreement's threshold requirement for entering into force required ratification by 55 countries accounting for at least 55 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
Accordingly, the Paris Agreement will enter into force less than 10 months after it was agreed and in time for the next COP meeting in Marrakesh in November 2016 and prior to the U.S. presidential election. Prime Minister Theresa May has also pledged to take steps to commit to the UK's implementation by the end of 2016. The Agreement itself aims to keep global temperatures rising to no more than 2 degrees Celsius compared to the pre-industrial era.
In addition, and separate to the Paris Climate Agreement, at least 200 nations met in Rwanda on October 15, 2016, and agreed to an amendment to the Montreal Protocol. Steps will be taken to cut back 80 percent of hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, which are used heavily in refrigeration and air conditioning. The richest industrialized countries have agreed to a 10 percent reduction by the beginning of 2019 with a ratcheting down by 2036 when they are to achieve an 80 percent cut from 2011–2013 production and consumption levels. The Agreement provides a sliding scale for developing nations with certain nations (e.g., China, Latin America, Africa) agreeing to a freeze by 2024, and other developing nations headed by India having until 2030 to comply.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.