Paris Agreement Expected to Enter Into Force in Advance of UN November Climate Change Summit

Statements by Alden Meyer, Peter Frumhoff, Ken Kimmell at the Union of Concerned Scientists

Published Oct 4, 2016

WASHINGTON (October 4, 2016)—Later this week, the Paris Agreement is expected to pass the emissions threshold required to ensure it will enter into force  in advance of the United Nation’s annual climate change summit, slated to take place in Marrakech next month.

While the historic Paris Agreement—aimed at limiting global climate change—was adopted by nearly every nation last year, it had to be formally ratified by at least 55 countries representing at least 55 percent of global warming emissions before it could officially enter into force.

Below is a statement by Alden Meyer, director of strategy and policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and a leading expert on the United Nation’s international climate negotiations. 

“The fact that the Paris Agreement is taking effect much earlier than anticipated shows that leaders understand the need for collective action to confront the growing climate threat. Last month’s joint announcement by the U.S. and China that they had joined the agreement clearly spurred other countries to speed up their domestic processes, ensuring that the first meeting of parties to the Paris Agreement will take place next month in Marrakech. 

“While this milestone is certainly cause for celebration—perhaps with a glass or two of French Champagne—much hard work lies ahead. Countries must now move aggressively to implement and strengthen their emissions reduction commitments under the agreement if we are to have any chance of avoiding the worst impacts of climate change.”

Below is a statement by Peter Frumhoff, director of science and policy and chief scientist of the climate campaign at UCS.

“Let’s savor this historic moment, and swiftly act to build upon it. The task ahead for the U.S. and other nations is to close the gap between our national emissions reduction commitments and the greater reductions needed to keep global temperatures in check. This is the time for scientists, activists and forward-looking businesses to provide expertise, motivation and resources to help build the global clean energy economy. It’s also the time for the fossil fuel industry, a force that often works to delay or avoid climate action, to either join in or get out of the way of progress.”

Below is a statement by Ken Kimmell, president of UCS. Kimmell is also the former commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative board chair.

“Now that the historic Paris Agreement can enter into force, it’s imperative that the U.S. continues to lead by example by meeting its 2025 emission reduction pledge and developing a plan to support an even more ambitious pledge for 2030. This will be one of the most important tasks ahead for a new president and a new Congress.”