The international community agreed a climate deal in Paris in December 2015. The Paris Agreement would come into force 30 days after it is ratified by 55 countries covering 55% of global emissions. Several countries, including China and the US ratified, throughout 2016.
The EU Environment Council approved a speeded up ratification process on 30 September 2016. Following EU Parliament approval, the EU deposited its instrument of ratification, with a number of EU countries including Germany and France but not the UK. This brought the total number of countries to 74 with a coverage of 58.82% global emissions and brought the Paris Agreement into force, from effect of 4 November 2016.The Prime Minster, Theresa May, committed the UK to completing domestic ratification procedures by the end of 2016. These were completed and the UK ratified the agreement on 18 November 2016.
The UN published a document Entry into force of the Paris agreement: legal requirements and implications in April 2016, which sets out the procedure for setting up the administrative structures for implementation of the Agreement. A summary of the process following ratification was published, taking account of the first implementation meeting that took place during COP22 in Marrakech, 7 to 18 November 2016. The main priority for the Conference was to begin work on developing the rule book for implementation, monitoring and reporting of countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). Progress was made in several areas and agreement was reached that the rule book should be completed by 2018.
Further background on the Agreement and the Paris Conference is available in the Library Briefing Paper The Paris Climate Change Conference.