Germany begins ratification of Paris Agreement

Federal Cabinet adopts draft act

Federal Cabinet adopts draft act

Today the Federal Cabinet adopted draft legislation proposed by the Environment Ministry for the ratification of the Paris Climate Agreement. This places Germany among the first European Union member states to formally begin the ratification process.

Environment Minister Hendricks noted: "Many thought that the Paris Agreement would not enter into force until 2020. But it will go much more quickly. All over the world there are many countries that would prefer to ratify the Paris agreement in record time and bring it into force. In Germany, our goal is to adopt the ratification legislation by the next climate conference in Marrakesh. It remains unclear whether all of the EU countries will achieve this, but nonetheless we are giving a clear signal that implementation and ratification is underway."

On 22 April 2016, 175 parties (among them the EU and its member states) signed the Paris Agreement during a formal ceremony held in New York. Never before have so many countries signed an international treaty on its first day open for signature. The next formal step after signing is ratification. The agreement will enter into force after at least 55 countries, accounting for at least 55 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, have ratified it.

The agreement was adopted at the climate summit in Paris in December 2015 and is the first to place all countries under a joint obligation. The agreement’s goal is to limit global warming to well below two degrees Celsius and, if possible, to 1.5 degrees. To achieve this, countries worldwide intend to achieve greenhouse gas neutrality by 2050.

The German draft legislation will be presented to the Bundestag and the Bundesrat after their summer recess. Germany aims to carry out the last step of ratification, depositing the instrument of ratification, jointly with the other EU member states and the European Union itself. This is in accordance with typical practices for "mixed agreements" that affect the competences of both the EU and its member states. The EU will also be jointly implementing the Paris Agreement, contributing by reducing its emissions by at least 40 percent relative to 1990 levels by 2030.

Further information

Petersberg Climate Dialogues

06.07.2016 | Press release No. 163/16 | International Environmental Policy