Paris climate change accord to enter into force Nov. 4

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TOKYO. KAZINFORM - A landmark global agreement to battle climate change will enter into force on Nov. 4 following ratification by the required number of signatory nations, the U.N. climate body said.

The secretariat of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change said the Paris Agreement has been ratified by 73 countries and the European Union making up 56.87 percent of world greenhouse gas emissions, Kyodo reports.

The accord was planned to take effect following ratification by at least 55 nations accounting for an estimated 55 percent of global emissions.

According to the United Nations, seven members of the European Union, such as France and Germany, as well as Canada, Bolivia and Nepal have newly ratified the pact.

China and the United States, the world's largest and second-largest emitters, have already ratified the agreement, and India, another major emitter, took the step Sunday. Japan, the world's sixth-largest emitter, has yet to ratify it.

"Global momentum for the Paris Agreement to enter into force in 2016 has been remarkable," U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said in a statement. "What once seemed unthinkable is now unstoppable."

Speaking in Washington on Wednesday, U.S. President Barack Obama hailed the news and 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."

Obama urged Japan and other parties that have yet to ratify it to do so "as soon as possible."

The first conference of parties to the accord is due to be held during a U.N. climate conference beginning Nov. 7 in Morocco. Japan is most likely to participate in it without a deciding voice.

The Paris Agreement's entry into force would come after nearly 200 nations agreed at a U.N. conference on climate change in Paris last December to create a long-sought framework to involve every country in reining in greenhouse gas emissions.

The agreement, negotiated to make efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions legally binding, aims to hold the global temperature rise to "well below" 2 C above preindustrial levels to avert more serious impacts from climate change.

All countries are obligated to set their own emissions reduction targets and take domestic measures accordingly. They are also expected to provide progressively more ambitious targets every five years, while there is no penalty for those missing their goals.

The new agreement also includes a long-term goal to effectively reduce net greenhouse gas emissions to zero in the second half of this century.

Obama stressed the significance of the pact. "By sending a signal that this is going to be our future, a clean energy future, it opens up the floodgates for businesses and scientists and engineers to unleash high-tech, low-carbon investment and innovation at a scale we've never seen before."

At the same time, he called for countries' increased efforts to fight global warming, saying the Paris accord "alone will not solve the climate crisis" because it will only get the world to achieve "part of where we need to go."

Source: Kyodo

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