Small nations lead ratification of Paris climate agreement

16 May 2016 | Mitigation

Small nations keep leading the charge on ratification of the Paris Climate Change Agreement which opened for signing on April 22nd according to a climate change specialist.

Of 197 countries that are party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, only 15 island nations and the state of Palestine have signed and ratified the agreement.

The agreement itself will not enter into force until at least 55 countries have signed and 55 percent of global emissions have been covered.

Together the 16 nations which have ratified so far represent only 0.04 percent of the global carbon emissions reduction target.

But a specialist on climate change working with UNDP Pacific, Kevin Petrini, said there are indications that more countries will soon follow the example set by the small island nations.

"There have been some indications particularly from the US and China the two biggest global emitters that they would be looking at depositing their instruments of ratification later this year. Which would go a long way towards the 55 percent that would allow this to come into force," he said.

Countries that have ratified the Paris Agreement so far are Barbados, Belize, Fiji, Grenada, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Nauru, Palau, Palestine, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, Samoa, Seychelles, Somalia and Tuvalu.