Paris Agreement Very Likely to Enter into Force this Year

In order for the Paris Agreement to “Enter into Force” and become international law 55 countries that account for 55 percent of the world’s emissions will need to ratify the agreement through their domestic processes. Recent developments in Brazil and Ukraine highlight that both countries are on the cusp of formally joining this year. It is now looking very likely that the Paris Agreement will reach the entry-into-force threshold this year based upon publicly announced intentions from countries.

Earlier this week, Brazil’s House of Representatives unanimously approved a legislative decree to ratify the Paris Agreement. The bill now moves to the Senate. Brazilian observers are confident that the Senate will pass a similar bill, possibly in the coming days or weeks. It would then be sent to Acting President Temer for his approval in order to make it domestic law. Each of these steps is very likely to happen this year. Brazil accounts for 2.5 percent of emissions towards the threshold.

The Ukraine government moved even closer to formally joining the Paris Agreement as its Parliament voted to ratify the agreement. The Ukrainian Government will now need to take the final step and formally notify the U.N. that they have ratified the agreement. Ukraine accounts for one percent of emissions towards the threshold.

Eighteen countries have formally notified the U.N. of their ratification and 29 (including Brazil and Ukraine) have already announced their intent to join this year. The emissions from these 47 countries account for 54.08 percent of the world’s emissions. With India, who signaled with President Obama their intent to join this year and have started their domestic process, we would be at over 58 percent of emissions. With Japan, who hasn’t said anything publicly but could easily do it this year, we would be at about 62 percent of emissions (see figure and table). And reaching the 55 country threshold should be easily within reach as a number of small emitting countries are likely to join but haven’t yet said anything publicly.

It now looks very likely that the Paris Agreement will enter-into-force this year. This continues the huge momentum for stronger climate action that has occurred since the agreement was finalized and signifies that countries are formally committed to delivering stronger climate action in the years to come.


NRDC has been tracking the countries that have publicly announced that they will ratify the Paris Agreement this year. The table below is based upon those public announcements. Other countries, such as Saudi Arabia and Russia, have sent some public signals that they will ratify this year but since these aren’t formal announcements we haven’t included them at this stage.

About the Authors

Jake Schmidt

Senior Strategic Director, International Climate, International Program

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