Launch of the Paris climate change agreement

Applause at the Paris Conference

Committee from Paris; Photo: flickr/MAEDI F. de la Mure (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Today, 4 November 2016, the Paris Climate Change Agreement is officially entering into force. With the agreement, the global community has made a binding commitment under international law to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius. The agreement reached at the 21st international climate change conference (COP21) in December 2015 in Paris that is now to be implemented represents a historic step on the path to a carbon-neutral world. The Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will be celebrating the 4 November in diverse ways.

Since 2008, the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the Federal Environment Ministry (BMUB) has been supporting numerous projects around the world to initiate processes that made this agreement possible. Now IKI projects will be supporting partner countries in implementing the agreement.

As a direct result of the COP 19 climate change negotiations in Warsaw, during which the signatory countries agreed to their specific Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), IKI began supporting numerous projects in over 25 partner countries to develop these INDCs and formulate long-term strategies for reducing emissions.

With the Paris Agreement coming into force, the national governments must now begin implementing the commitments agreed in Paris. The INDCs will become NDCs. Along with targets for reducing climate-damaging emissions, many (I)NDCs also specify necessary adaptation measures and goals for restoring ecosystems. In the framework of IKI, in 2015 the BMUB set up the NDC Support Cluster to provide partner countries with rapid and comprehensive support in implementing their NDCs. The Cluster was initially comprised of five IKI projects with eight partner organisations, with total funding amounting to EUR 35.6 million, which is being used to support 27 partner countries.

A key focus during the entire process is fostering active exchange and dialogue among the participating governments. IKI aims to continue supporting these and other global projects in the future to achieve the joint climate targets.