Paris climate agreement signing ceremony

New York, 22 April 2016

More than 165 countries have indicated that they will sign the historic climate change agreement reached in Paris last December at a signature ceremony hosted by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Earth Day, 22 April.

The large number of countries will set a record for the most countries to sign an international agreement on one day, previously set in 1982, when 119 countries signed the Law of the Sea Convention.

All of the world’s largest economies, and the largest greenhouse gas emitters, have indicated that they will sign the agreement on Friday. The signing is the first step toward ensuring that the agreement enters into force as soon as possible. After signing, countries must take the further national (or domestic) step of accepting or ratifying the agreement.

The agreement can enter into force 30 days after at least 55 Parties to the UNFCCC, accounting for at least 55 per cent of global emissions, ratify the agreement.

There are 13 countries, mostly Small Island Developing States, that are expected to deposit their instruments of ratification immediately after signing the agreement on Friday.

Paris Agreement: A global commitment

The Paris Agreement was adopted by all 196 Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change at COP21 in Paris on 12 December 2015. In the agreement, all countries agreed to work to limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius, and given the grave risks, to strive for 1.5 degrees Celsius. Implementation of the Paris Agreement is essential for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, and provides a roadmap for climate actions that will reduce emissions and build climate resilience.

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