Sri Lanka on Wednesday (Sep 21) formalized its pledge to fight climate change, with President Maithripala Sirisena depositing its instrument of ratification of the Paris Agreement at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York.
President Maithripala Sirisena handed over the instruments pertaining to entry into force of Paris Agreement on Climate Change to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today at the United Nations General Assembly.
At the occasion UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the Paris Agreement has galvanized United Nations’ engagement in fighting climate change at the highest level.
Sri Lanka joined over 170 other countries in the world in signing the Paris Agreement to set in motion a plan to reduce global warming when it was opened for signature on 22 April 2016 at a high-level signature ceremony convened by the Secretary General in New York. At that ceremony, 174 States and the European Union signed the agreement and 15 states also deposited their instruments of ratification.
Currently, there are 185 signatories to the Paris Agreement. Of these, 61 States have also deposited their instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval accounting in total for 47.78% of the total global greenhouse gas emissions.
Although the number is higher than the 55-country threshold needed for the treaty to enter into force, it is short of the 55 percent threshold of emissions because most of the countries ratified so far are small countries accounting for just under 48 percent of total global emissions.
The Agreement shall enter into force on the thirtieth day after the date on which at least 55 Parties to the Convention accounting in total for at least an estimated 55% of the total global greenhouse gas emissions have deposited their instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession with the Depositary.
The Paris agreement will empower all countries to act to prevent average global temperatures rising above 2 degrees Celsius and to reap the many opportunities that arise from a necessary global transformation to clean and sustainable development.
Countries have agreed that there will be no back-tracking in these national climate plans, meaning that the level of ambition to reduce emissions will increase over time.