Laos is First in ASEAN to Ratify Paris Climate Agreement

Cheers and plaudits to Lao PDR, which became the first country within ASEAN to ratify the much important Paris Climate Agreement at the end of last week. The ratification by Laos and 28 other countries of the agreement was announced on September 21 at the UN Headquarters in New York hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Laos Minister of Foreign Affairs, Saleumxay Kommasith witnessed the event in New York. For Laos, Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith deposited an instrument of ratification of the agreement with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on the occasion of his attendance at the 8th ASEAN-United Nations Summit held in Vientiane on September 7, 2016.

During the event, representatives of the 29 countries that have already ratified the agreement posted a group photo with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Another 31 countries deposited their ratification documents of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Among the 31 countries are more members of ASEAN: Brunei Darussalam, Singapore and Thailand.

Despite promising to sign the Paris Agreement this year, Cambodia’s parliament indicated that it will do so only in 2017. Vietnam however has been more cautious to sign the agreement. European Union ambassadors in Hanoi strongly encourage Vietnam to continue its efforts to ratify the Paris Agreement. In a statement issued by the EU, ambassadors in Vietnam maintain their commitment to share accumulated experience in developing and implementing ambitious climate policies with Vietnam.

Malaysia is likely to ratify the agreement by the end of the year while Indonesia still needs to confirm its official signature although the country ratified the agreement last April. Only the Philippines already announced not to ratify the Paris Agreement after the change in political power last July.

The Paris Climate Agreement aims to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping the rise in global temperatures this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Additionally, the agreement aims to strengthen the ability of countries to deal with the impacts of climate change.

To date, 185 countries have signed the agreement and 60 countries, representing 47.7% of global emissions, have now formally joined the Paris Agreement. The agreement will enter into force 30 days after 55 countries that account for at least 55% of global emissions have deposited their instruments of ratification.

(Part source: KPL)