Will the Paris Agreement enter into force this year?

Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 8.07.02 PM statement released last Friday by the Marshall Islands estimates that it will.

It calculates that ratifications – or pledges of ratification – of the Agreement by 58 countries thus far total 54% of global GHG emissions.  As we’ve posted before, entry into force of the Paris Agreement requires ratification by 55 countries representing 55% of emissions. The Marshall Islands notes that Ghana, Iran, Morocco, Peru, and the Ukraine have ratified it domestically in the last month.  This data updates the official count kept by the UN and the UNFCCC.

The Marshall Islands’ analysis underscores the importance of pledges by the United States and China to deposit their instruments of ratification “in the coming weeks.”  It is these two highest emitting UNFCCC Parties that really move the dial.

Tony de Brum, the Marshall Islands’ Climate Ambassador, also convenes the High Ambition Coalition, which was a force during the last few days of COP21 for forging compromise on the Paris Agreement.  He has announced that this group has made entry into force one of its top three priorities for 2016. To that end, last Friday’s statement specifically calls out several countries’ individual ability to move the Paris Agreement past the 55% threshold for entry into force.  These include Brazil, India, Korea, Japan, Russia, South Africa, and Turkey. India declared in June that it had started the domestic process for ratification and Brazil’s House of Representatives unanimously voted in July to ratify the Paris Agreement.