The Paris agreement on climate change, signed in April this year, is planned to be ratified by the end of 2016.
Agreements and treaties need to be ratified after they have been signed to make them officially valid. Ratifying the Paris agreement will represent New Zealand’s commitment to its ambitious target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.
Greenhouse gases include any gas that prevents heat from escaping our atmosphere. Global warming is caused by an increase of heat in the atmosphere and has potentially catastrophic effects for the world. To help stop global warming we must reduce the amount of greenhouse gasses that we make. Greenhouse gases are made by many things including cars, planes, factories and even the farming and agriculture industry.
This agreement aims to ensure that we reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and if ratified early it reinforces New Zealand’s commitment to supporting initiative to combat climate change.
The Paris agreement was finalised in December last year, when countries that make up 99 per cent of global emissions set targets to reduce their emissions. There are now 180 countries that have signed the agreement.