Cabinet approves submission of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change to Parliament for ratification

21 October 2016


South Africa will soon join the list of countries to have ratified the Paris Agreement to combat climate change.

Cabinet yesterday announced its approval for the historic treaty to be submitted to Parliament for ratification.

The Paris Agreement will enter into force on 4 November 2016, thirty days after the date on which the threshold for entry into force was achieved.   A total of 81 parties, accounting for close to 60% of the global greenhouse gas emissions, have deposited their instruments of ratification with the United Nations Secretary General.

Minister of Environmental Affairs Dr Edna Molewa has hailed the Cabinet decision.

“South Africa's imminent ratification of the Paris Agreement will send a positive signal of our continued commitment to contribute to the global effort to address the challenge of climate change,” said Minister Molewa.  

The Paris Agreement was concluded at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on 12 December 2015.  

It commits all Parties to act collectively to address the threat of climate change within the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty.  It sets the goal of holding the increase in global average temperature to well below 2 degrees Celsius and pursuing efforts to limit global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius.  

Minister Molewa signed the Paris Agreement on Climate Change on behalf of South Africa on 22 April 2016.

The South African-led Durban international climate change talks in 2011 marked the beginning of the 4-year negotiating process that culminated in the Paris Agreement.

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