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The Paris Agreement Enters into Force!

COP21_participants_-_30_Nov_2015_(23430273715)Today, the world celebrates the Paris Agreement’s entry into force. No other multilateral treaty has had the momentum that Paris had. Over 97 countries, representing more than 67% of global emissions have deposited their Paris Agreement instruments of ratification—crossing the thresholds provided for in the Agreement.

The Paris Agreement is one of the fastest-ratified agreements; receiving more first-day signatures than any other UN agreement in history—sending a strong signal the countries are united in their commitment to fight climate change.

With no time to waste, developed and developing countries have already made progress in implementing their Paris pledges. Peru, as an example, is scaling up the self-supply of waste-to-energy technologies in the agricultural sector. This alone has the GHG emissions reduction potential of 9.3 million tons of CO2 equivalent.  The Philippines has been implementing a number of policies to promote the use of distributed solar energy, including the net metering regulation (NEM) in 2013, which allows customers who generate their own electricity from renewable sources to feed the unused power back into the grid.

While we celebrate the Paris Agreement’s rapid entry into force, there is much work ahead to be done. This time will be critical to ensuring that we met and exceed our global goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. CCAP is committed to helping all countries ensure that they get the support they need to convert their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) into on-the-ground programs, policies and investment strategies.

Domestically, the historic entry into force comes just a few days before the U.S. presidential election. The policies of the next president’s administration will therefore have a major impact on global climate action. The United States can’t officially withdraw from the Agreement for three years after it goes into effect, and with one year’s notice. But the content and tone of participation by the US delegation in the UN process will be critically important to the success of Paris going forward.

Political risks aside, we are confident that market forces are pushing for clean energy and other low-carbon technologies like never before, and the shift to affordable, zero-emissions renewable energy is a long-term structural trend. The industry is innovating at a rapid pace, and prices have been falling steadily. The worldwide average prices for Photovoltaic (PV) cells have dropped by 78% from 2006 to 2014. Additionally, increased renewable energy investments are leading to unprecedented additions in capacity.  We may finally be seeing the era where renewable energy is becoming business-as-usual.

CCAP will be participating at the 22nd Conference of Parties (COP22) in Marrakech. We will also be hosting a side event, Filling the Pipeline, on building support for developing country climate projects.

For more on CCAP at Marrakech, please click here.

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