What happens in the aftermath of the COP21?

Crucial question arises after the victorious summit in Paris last December. After 196 countries have agreed on the agreement, which some describe as a historian agreement, the question is to be answered further in the essay.

The Paris agreement is probably the biggest step ever made in order to combat climate change but even though countries agreed it is still not valid international law. In order to become one the agreement needs to be signed and ratified. The main condition for that to happen is; it must be signed and ratified by at least 55 countries representing at least 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions. It certainly does not look promising as index, but if one bear in mind that since December; India approved six solar projects; Vietnam has said it will stop building coal plants; China announced a five-year plan that set stricter climate targets; the United States halted new coal leases on federal land; JP Morgan said it would stop financing new coal mines; Saudi Arabia said it won’t be an oil state within 20 years; the only possible outcome is success.

Symbolically, on April 22, on ‘International Mother Earth Day’, 175 countries gathered in the UN headquarters in New York to sign the agreement. Two more countries signed it in the next days, what makes 177 of 196. Looks like, it is a game changer for our only planet. The deadline for countries to sign the Paris Agreement is April 21, 2017. That’s one year from Friday. The very few countries which did not participate are encouraged to join at any time.

Nevertheless, countries still need to ratify it. Bearing in mind that every country has different national legislation procedures, some will take more time than the others. 15 countries have already deposited their instruments of ratification with the United Nations: Barbados, Belize, Fiji, Grenada, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Nauru, Palau, Palestine, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Somalia and Tuvalu. The pattern is very logical, island countries are in most danger from the climate change.

It is very important to mention that the agreement text predict it will become a law in 2020.

When it comes to the European Union Maroš Šefčovič, Vice President of the European Commission for Energy Union said; “We definitely want to be in the first wave of ratifying countries,”. Šefčovič said the EU wants to be among the nations in the initial group of 55 to ratify that will bring the agreement into effect. That way they want to send a message, but it is important to consider that it is very likely that the EU is ratify it only after every member state of 28 has ratified it nationally.


Written by: Dalibor Vranić

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