Estonia ratifies Paris climate agreement ({{commentsTotal}})

Heads of delegations at the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference (COP21), which led to the signing of the Paris Agreement. Nov. 30, 2015. Source: (Presidency of Mexico/Wikimedia Commons)

The Riigikogu ratified the Paris Agreement with 55 votes on Wednesday.

The Paris Agreement signed at the end of last year is the first ever universal, legally-binding global climate deal. The agreement sets ut a global action plan to put the world on track to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below two degrees Celsius.

"Such rapid enactment of the Paris agreement is remarkable, especially considering that with the Kyoto Protocol, for instance, this took as long as eight years," Estonia's Minister of the Environment Marko Pomerants said in a press release. "The Paris Agreement will take effect less than a year after it was signed. This demonstrates that the problem is considered to be serious and that it needs to be dealt with here and now."

The agreement opened for signature for one year on April 22, 2016. It will enter into force after 55 countries that account for at least 55 percent of global emissions have deposited their instruments of ratification. These conditions were met on Oct. 5, and the agreement will enter into force on Nov. 4 of this year. Eighty-six countries out of the 197 signatories have ratified the agreement by now.

"The work does not end with the domestic ratification of the Paris Agreement; rather it will begin, because now we need to boldly move on with the implementing activities necessary to ensure the meeting of the long-term goal for reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases in the period following 2020," said the Estonian minister.

Editor: Editor: Aili Vahtla

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