New York, September 21, 2016 – The Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica joined 30 other countries to deposit their instruments of ratification of the Paris Agreement on climate change at a special event at the United Nations on Wednesday September 21, 2016. The Government of Dominica was represented by Minister of Foreign Affairs and CARICOM, Hon. Francine Baron.
This brings the number of countries that have joined the Paris Agreement to 55, reaching one requirement for the coming into force of the Agreement. The Agreement will come into force when the total number of countries that have ratified the convention accounts for 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
The Paris Agreement was adopted by 195 countries at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP21) held in Paris, France, in December 2015. The Agreement calls on nations that have ratified to pursue their highest possible ambition to reduce greenhouse gas emissions using “Nationally Determined Contributions” (NDCs) and monitored through a reporting mechanism.
The overall goal of the Paris Agreement is for countries to take action to keep global temperature rise this century below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels while at the same time using best efforts to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Minister Baron said that she is encouraged by the strong commitments made by the 55 countries that have ratified the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The recent leadership demonstrated by the United States and China, the biggest emitters, gives hope especially to SIDS that the we are on a path to achieving the ambitions set in the Agreement. The next critical step is to ensure that financing is predictable and accessible to Small Island Developing States (SIDS) like Dominica to build resilience and to adapt to the impact of climate change.