Cabinet approves Paris Climate Agreement

Paris Agreement Cabinet approves Paris Climate Agreement

The agreement reached in December 2015 at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris marks a turning point in international climate change mitigation. It is the first climate agreement to target all countries. Today it was approved by the German Cabinet.

In the Paris Agreement, the international community affirms its aim to keep global warming well below 2°C. Over and above this, signatory states have set themselves the goal of achieving GHG (greenhouse gas) neutrality in the second half of this century. And resilience to the impacts of climate change is to be enhanced.

The agreement clearly mandates all states to take bold action to realise ambitious climate targets. There is to be a five-year review and revision cycle, known as the ambition mechanism, to assess and update the climate action taken by states. . 

Graphic: The German government approves the Paris Agreement

Paris Agreement approved

Photo: Bundesregierung

G7 paved the way

Climate policy was one main thrust of the G7 summit in June last year at Schloss Elmau. The overall goal of the G7 was to come to a binding global climate agreement at the Climate Change Conference in Paris. To this end, participants at the G7 summit affirmed their commitment to the ‘two per cent target’. The Paris conference actually went one step further, and declared its aim to keep global warming well below two degrees.

The G7 also made a pledge regarding climate financing. As of 2020 the industrial states and other volunteers are to mobilise 100 billion euros a year to finance climate action.

EU must step up efforts

The national climate contributions of EU states must be re-submitted or updated by 2020 and as of 2025 new, more ambitious targets must be identified for the period as of 2030.

Vulnerable countries in particular are assured support in the field of climate change mitigation and adaptation under the new agreement. This can take the form of financing, technology transfer and capacity development.

Ratification follows signing

The agreement achieved in December in Paris must be signed by the participating states by 21 April 2017. Germany and the EU are to sign on 22 April 2016 within the framework of a ceremony in New York, hosted by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Once it has been signed, the agreement must be ratified by the parties to the agreement, including the EU and its member states. Germany will do its bit to ensure that the agreement can come into force rapidly.