You are here

Paris Climate Agreement Will Go into Effect This Year

On Wednesday, October 5, 2016, the European Union joined the Paris Climate Agreement, pushing the accord across the threshold of having more than 55 countries representing over 55 percent of global climate change pollution formally join the agreement. The agreement will go into effect in 30 days, on November 4, 2016.

The U.S. and China ratified the Paris climate agreement on September 3, 2016 in a joint step by the world’s top emitters. India, another top emitter, ratified the agreement on Sunday, October 2, 2016.

On Wednesday October 5th, President Obama said, "If we follow through on the commitments that this Paris agreement embodies, history may well judge it as a turning point for our planet."

The rapid ratification of the agreement shows that nations around the world are unified in their commitment to reducing carbon pollution, addressing climate change, and transitioning to cleaner, safer sources of energy. There is still much work to be done, though, in order to keep global warming under dangerous levels. "It is no exaggeration to say we are in a race against time," said Thoriq Ibrahim, Environment Minister for the Maldives and Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States.

Alden Meyer, international director of the Union of Concerned Scientists, said: "All countries will need to raise the ambition of their commitments under the agreement if we're to avoid the worst impacts of climate change and reach a goal of net zero global warming emissions by mid-century."

Learn More

  • Visit the United Nations’ Paris Agreement page here.
  • See Texas Interfaith Power & Light’s resources and updates from the Paris climate talks here.
  • Find a sampling of interfaith statements and efforts in support of climate action here, here, and here.

(Photo ”Closing Ceremony of COP21, Paris” by User United Nations Photo used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License.)

See all Climate and Sustainability post.