The fight against climate change: Time to turn promises into action | Interamerican Association for Environmental Defense (AIDA) Skip to content Skip to navigation

The fight against climate change: Time to turn promises into action

The Paris Agreement on climate change entered into force today. Nations must now implement the commitments that made this global consensus possible, and work to make them even more ambitious.

On October 5, the nations of the European Union ratified the Paris Agreement, the binding global treaty on climate change adopted in a United Nations conference last December.

With their signatures, the treaty met the requirements needed to enter into force: it was ratified by at least 55 countries, which account for 55 percent or more of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Many Latin American nations contributed to this important political achievement by ratifying the agreement early, including Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama and Peru.

In late September, China and the United States, the world’s largest emitters, also said yes to the new climate accord.

Now all the nations that have ratified the Paris Agreement must begin to implement the national contributions they laid out last year, including, among other things, reducing emissions, financing climate actions, and taking measures for adaptation and mitigation.

“These contributions are legally binding and can only be improved upon by increasing ambitions,” explained Andrea Rodriguez, AIDA attorney. “Nations cannot deny or go back on their word.”

For the commitments to become a reality, each country must promote actions that meet international standards and create strong institutions to implement them.  Strong national and international support systems will enable governments to succeed at the adaptation and mitigation efforts that lay ahead.

The world’s most vulnerable nations depend on special climate financing to cope with the impacts of a changing climate. The enactment of the Paris Agreement may result in a stronger, more predictable and transparent international financial framework. Sufficient funding and proper financial management are key to making national commitments not only concrete but ever more ambitious.

“The entry into force of the Paris Agreement is an important global milestone. We can finally begin the urgent transformation of our economy and society towards a truly sustainable future. The irrefutable evidence of the impacts of climate change requires us to exercise historical responsibility to act quickly and get results,” said Astrid Puentes, AIDA co-director.

“Latin America must show global leadership by implementing appropriate solutions and staying away from outdated strategies that increase the vulnerability of our countries and negatively impact people and communities.” 

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