The Paris Agreement – an international agreement associated with the main hopes in terms of combating the global climate change – comes into force in the member states.
According to Stéphane Dujarric, the Official Representative of the UN Secretary General, 96 countries have already ratified the Agreement.
Over the closing days, the required documents were submitted by Denmark, Indonesia, the Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, and RSA. Mr. Duzharrik noted that Mr. Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General, was going to meet with representatives of civil society to mark the entry of the Agreement into force.
The Agreement was adopted on December 12, 2015 at the conclusion of COP 21 UNFCCC in Paris. 195 participants of the Forum have agreed to do their best to keep global warming “to well below 2 degrees C” above pre-industrial levels by 2100. The scientists believe that a more significant increase in temperature can lead to irreversible consequences for the environment.
The Paris Agreement was to replace the Kyoto Protocol which expires in 2020. To enter into force, the document was to be ratified by 55 countries which produce at least 55% of global GHG emissions. `
The first threshold was overcome on April 22, on the first day when the Agreement was opened for signature. In a ceremony in the UN Headquarters, the document was signed by the representatives of 175 countries including Russia, Germany, India, China, and USA (now, the number of signatories exceeds 190 states). The second condition for entry of the Agreement into force was fulfilled on October 5, and then Mr. Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General, has announced that the Agreement would become fully effective in 30 days, that is, from November 4.
An important step towards overcoming of the second threshold was the simultaneous ratification of the Agreement by China and USA. In June, Mr. Alexander Bedritsky, Advisor to the RF President, informed TASS that Russia would not join the Paris Agreement before 2019-2020.
Unlike the Kyoto Protocol, the Paris Agreement presumes that all countries regardless of their degree of economic development shall contribute to the reduction of harmful emissions to the air. The document contains no quantitative obligations on reduction or control of CO2 emissions, so each country will independently determine its policies in this area.
The Paris Agreement has no mechanism of strict control over its compliance and enforcement, as well as states no consequences for non-fulfilment by the countries of their commitments hereunder. The document just provides the commission of international experts with the right to check the data submitted by the countries on their achievements in reducing CO2 emissions.
Therefore, the legal force of the document is disputed by some lawyers. However as previously stated by Alexander Bedritsky, the Paris Agreement “is not tending to force someone but to encourage participation, to create such conditions when the countries won’t try to avoid ratifying this document or to leave it.”
Still the document is seriously criticised by a number of experts and non-governmental organizations which insist on more stringent measures of control over the implementation of the agreements. Besides, there are some serious doubts that the participants of the Paris Agreement may achieve the set goal on restricting the growth of average annual temperature on the planet. In the report made public on November 3 the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) said the countries will have to cut roughly a further quarter off the indicated GHG emissions in order to meet their obligations.
“2030 emissions are expected to reach 54 to 56 gigatonnes CO2-eq. what is much higher than the level of 42 gigaton – far above the level of 42 needed to have a chance of limiting global warming to 2 degrees C this century,” states the UNEP press release.
According to UNEP, “the predicted 2030 emissions will, even if the Paris pledges are fully implemented, place the world on track for a temperature rise of 2.9 to 3.4 degrees C this century.”
Therefore, UNEP proposes to focus on the renewable energy sources and energy efficiency projects, with the active participation of NGOs in coordination with the existing projects.
Senate ratified Paris Climate Agreement
ASTANA. KAZINFORM – Kazinform reports that the plenary session of the Senate of the Parliament of RK has approved the ratification of the Paris Agreement. When presenting the draft law, Kanat Bozumbayev, RK Minister of Energy has informed that the Paris Agreement is aimed to restrict the increase of average global temperature to 2 degrees C above pre-industrial level, to reduce the vulnerability to the adverse impacts of climate change at low levels of GHG emissions, and ensure the inflow of funds for low-carbon development and “green” economy. Under this Agreement each Party states the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) which it plans to make. Every 5 years the countries announce the future сontributions determined at the national level. At that, the сontributions shall become more and more ambitious while reflecting the varied national conditions. To ensure their сontributions, the Parties are supported by financial resources, development and transfer of technologies, and capacity building. Kazakhstan has announced the unconditional NDCs of 15%, and the conditional NDCs of 20% of reduction by 2030 from the base line of 1990. The Paris Agreement is not legally binding regarding the achievement of the announced contributions. The Paris Agreement was adopted on December 12, 2015 at the conclusion of COP 21 UNFCCC in Paris. This Agreement is of unlimited duration and approaches the countries in a differentiated way. Kazakhstan has decided to accede to the Agreement on August 2, 2016.
“Legislative Framework for the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement” – conference in Mazhilis
On November 3, 2016, the Mazhilis Committee on Ecology and the Use of Natural Resources held the conference on the topic of “Legislative Framework for the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement.” Francis Etienne, the Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of France in Kazakhstan, made a welcome speech for the participants of the Conference. G. K. Sadibekov, Vice-Minister of Energy, made a report on the Main Tasks of the Ministry on Energy of the Republic of Kazakhstan on Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement: Regulatory Aspects, Challenges and Perspectives. Main purpose of the conference was to discuss the issues of sustainable development and combating global climate change, as well as the national environmental legislation to make recommendations for further improvement of approaches and mechanisms for the implementation of sustainable development goals and provisions of the Paris Agreement in Kazakhstan.
During the Conference, E. N. Sembayev, the Special Envoy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has reported on the issues of implementation of Kazakhstani initiatives in the framework of Sustainable Development Goals; Jan Dusik, the Regional Representative and Director of UNEP Regional Office for Europe, has reported on further actions of the countries on the implementation of the Paris Agreement; B. K. Essekin, international expert in sustainable development, has reviewed the progress in achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in the Republic of Kazakhstan; Sh.A. Utemisov, the member of Mazhilis of the Parliament of the RK, talked on Kazakhstan economy expectations related to the obligations of Kazakhstan under the Paris Agreement; Sh. A. Urazalinov, the Chairman of Kazakhstan Electricity Association, spoke about the concerns and risks for coal industry of Kazakhstan due to regulation of GHG emissions; E.N. Nysanbayev, Vice-Minister of Agriculture of the RK, spoke on the potential and role of forests and fields of Kazakhstan in the implementation of the national goals in reducing GHG emissions; the representatives of Kazakhstan Electricity Association, Nazarbayev University, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in Kazakhstan, the National Chamber of Entrepreneurs of Kazakhstan, DIW econGmbH Company, Kazakhstani Association of Natural Resource Users for Sustainable Development and the UNDP Department of Sustainable Development spoke on different aspects of transmission to low-carbon development and “green economy”.
Addressing the conference, G. A. Shchegelsky, the Chairman of Mazhilis Committee on Ecology and the Use of Natural Resources, pointed out that the Paris Climate Agreement concluded on December 12, 2015 was a significant event in combating global climate change.
All countries including Kazakhstan have adopted the national goals in capping the GHG emissions. Kazakhstan declared its intentions on reduction of emissions till 2030 by 15% from the base line of 1990, and conditionally – by 25% in case of additional international assistance.
Different opinions concerning forthcoming changes due to ratification and implementation of the Paris Agreement were expressed at the Conference. It was pointed out that the discussion during the Conference on the issues of legislative framework of implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement with the participation of representatives of all concerned Ministries and agencies, the civil society and academia would identify general approaches of the national climate policy to ensure that all would move consistently in the same direction. The Conference has produced the relevant recommendations. (Distributed by the Mazhilis Press Service – 746303. Photo by Saylau Maylybayeva).
Paris Climate Agreement to enter into force on 4 November
The historic Paris Agreement to address climate change will enter into force on 4 November, the United Nations announced on 5th of October.
“This is a momentous occasion,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as the latest instruments of ratification were accepted in deposit. “What once seemed unthinkable, is now unstoppable. Strong international support for the Paris Agreement entering into force is a testament to the urgency for action, and reflects the consensus of governments that robust global cooperation, grounded in national action, is essential to meet the climate challenge.”