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ALERT: Paris Agreement Enters Into Force

192 countries sign, 87 countries ratify Paris Agreement ahead of predictions to propel global climate change movement.

Less than one year after the Paris Agreement was adopted by the United Nations on December 21, 2015, at COP21, the global climate deal has been fast-tracked into action. Signed by 192 countries and ratified by 87 of those, the agreement will officially “enter into force” today, November 4, 2016, a year before many predictions estimated that it would.

The Paris Agreement ratification means that countries that have formally joined are now expected to begin reducing emissions in accordance with nationally determined contributions (NDCs) by 2020. The accelerated ratification of the Paris Agreement is well-timed, such that it allows discussions around enforcement of national commitments to coincide with this year’s COP22 in Marrakech.

At these discussions, beginning next week with the first Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA1),  delegates from almost 200 countries will come together to tease out enforcement mechanisms and procedures for compliance to assess progress toward the ultimate goal of limiting global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius. While legally binding elements of the deal are procedural, consisting of required meetings every 5 years to report on global emissions and monitor progress, more detail around compliance will become available following CMA1 discussions.

What does the ratification of the Paris Agreement mean for your business?

The good news is that likely outcomes of the Paris Agreement will present business opportunities to private sector stakeholders waiting patiently as specifics of this global deal unfold. The We Mean Business Coalition recently released a report on what the passage of this momentous agreement entails for companies. They cite potential benefits, such as new business opportunities in low-carbon technology, alignment of investments with long-term policy certainty, and investor approval of climate action efforts including renewable energy procurement.  

Under national climate plans, U.S. investment in wind and solar energy combined is predicted by the IEA to unlock a $2.5 trillion clean power market. Of this, there is a significant portion that corporations should prepare to capture. The emergence of a vibrant, global clean economy has produced the instruments necessary for corporations to choose custom renewable energy options, at prices that are increasingly attractive.

As the Paris Agreement gains ground, the public’s attention is bound to turn toward businesses and their part in addressing climate change. Organizations that capitalize on this opportunity early will reap the financial, reputational, and operational rewards of the market opportunity that lies within global greenhouse gas reduction.

Energy attribute certificates (EACs) and power purchase agreements (PPAs) are among these instruments becoming widely available to corporates. Some of the largest organizations in the world use these as a means to meet global emissions reductions goals and rise to the challenge of immediate climate action coming from both customers and investors.

Want to know more about what your company can do to support global emissions reductions? Contact us today – our team of experts is here to help.

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