Australia ratifies Paris climate change agreement – November 2016

Filed under: Environment and Indigenous Affairs, Climate Change, Environment, Politics, Foreign Affairs,

Australia has ratified the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Announcing the decision, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said: “We look forward to actively and fully implementing our obligations and our commitments under the agreement.

“We join more than 100 other countries in ratifying the Paris Agreement, which entered in to force on the 4th of November. Each early entry in to force is a path, a signal, of nations’ intentions to follow through on their Paris commitments.”

Mr Turnbull said that almost a year from the Paris conference, it was clear the agreement was a turning point.

“The adoption of a comprehensive strategy has galvanised the international community and spurred on global action.

“We are playing our part with ambitious targets. We are on track to meet and indeed beat our 2020 targets. We will review our climate and energy policies next year to ensure that we meet … our 2030 targets under the agreement.”

The ratification came ahead of COP22 in Marrakech Morocco, the United Nation’s annual climate conference, to be attended by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg.

Ms Bishop said the Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Treaties had recommended ratification after considering the national interest analysis and holding four public hearings and receiving almost 50 submissions.

“The Australian Government has determined that ratifying the Paris Agreement is in our national interests and will provide great opportunities for Australian businesses.

“The global low emissions economy is estimated to be worth around $6 trillion and is growing at some 4-5 per cent per annum.

“We believe that through the use of technology and research, and science and innovation, there will be many opportunities for Australian businesses and Australian jobs in a low emissions economy.

“Australia joins … 103 other countries at this point in ratifying the Paris Agreement. This accounts for over 70 per cent of the world's emissions, over 75 per cent of the global GDP and 85 per cent of Australia's two-way trade.”

At a press conference, Mr Turnbull’s attention was drawn to US president-elect Donald Trump’s statement that he did not agree with the Paris Agreement and was asked whether, if America exited the treaty, would Australia follow.

Mr Turnbull said: “If a country seeks to withdraw from the agreement it takes four years. Secondly, this is a global agreement. When Australia makes a commitment to a global agreement, we follow through and that is exactly what we are doing.”

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