This week, Brazil ratified the Paris Climate Agreement, making it the 27th country to formally adopt the deal. Although 197 countries signed the agreement in December 2015, each country must now formally ratify it. The Agreement will only become active if 55 countries, responsible for at least 55% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, do so. Brazil now joins nations including other large emitters such as the USA and China. The current 27 account for 39.08% of global GHG emissions.
The agreement will remain open for ratification until the 21st of April 2017 and enter into force 30 days after the 55-country/55% threshold is met. The outlook is optimistic, particularly with historically unwilling countries like the USA and China already onboard. The countries of the European Union have yet to formally adopt the agreement. Their ratification, likely to take place all at once, will potentially push the agreement over the required threshold.
Brazil’s ratification is especially noteworthy as it comes only two weeks after Michael Temer was sworn in as president. This suggests that individual country politics still matter tremendously for the outcome of the Paris Agreement. For instance, the UK’s adoption, at least the timeframe, is now in doubt after the Brexit vote. While the current momentum makes it extremely likely that the deal will comfortably surpass the threshold, global trends and internal politics still place meaningful climate change action in a precarious position.
For updates on ratification of the Paris Agreement, see the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Website.