France and UN Press for Ratification of Climate Agreement

French environment minister Ségolène Royal joins UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to press governments to speedily ratify the Paris Agreement on climate change.

On Wednesday, French environment minister and COP21 President Ségolène Royal announced that she and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will urge governments to rapidly ratify the Paris Agreement, adopted in France in December and signed by 175 countries at a ceremony at the UN in April.

After meeting with the Secretary-General, Royal told reporters that they want the Paris Agreement ratified by the time the parties convene for COP22 in Marrakesh, Morocco November 7 – 18. Royal noted that she plans to write to all world leaders asking them for their timetables for ratification.

The Secretary-General has also announced a September 21 event in New York to spur entry into force. During the event, which will be held during the annual UN General Assembly ministerial meeting, countries will be invited to deposit their articles of ratification.

Ratification by 55 countries representing 55 percent of the world’s total emissions are required to bring the Paris Agreement into force. At this point, 19 countries have ratified the Paris Agreement so far. But these countries represent less than 1% of the world’s total emissions.

The Secretary-General urged at least 40 countries that had committed to ratify before the end of the year — including big emitters like the United States, China, Australia, Mexico — to hasten ratification and speed entry into force. As Royal emphasized, “”We cannot wait any longer. It’s time for actions.”

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