Tonga Ratifies Paris Agreement On Climate Change

22 states, representing 1.08% of global greenhouse emissions, have so far ratified deal

By Pesi Fonua

NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, August 26, 2016) – Tonga has ratified the Paris Agreement, the Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Siaosi Sovaleni, told the Tongan parliament on Monday, 22 August.

Hon. Sovaleni said that government would deposit Tonga’s instrument of ratification of the agreement on 21 September.

Tonga was among 12 Pacific Islands Forum countries that signed the Paris Agreement in New York on 22 April 2016. On the same day six of the 12 PIFcountries that signed the agreement also ratified the agreement - they were Fiji, Nauru, Palau, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa and Tuvalu.

The Paris Agreement is the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change that 195 countries agreed to adopt on 12 December 2015 at the COP 21UN climate summit in Paris.

For the agreement to become an international law, it must be signed and ratified by at least 55 countries, representing at least 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

So far just 22 states, representing just 1.08% of global greenhouse emissions, have ratified the convention.

However, the harder part of the agreement is the commitments of these states to  translate their commitments into real-world action.

Tonga has made a commitment to reduce our reliance on fossil fuel for power generation by 50%, by 2020, and 70% by 2030. The Government has also made a commitment to double Tonga's marine protected areas by 2030, and increased our efforts in reforestation.

Whether it has anything to do with Climate Change or not, but debate in the House on Monday took a couple of twists and turns over a couple of very interesting reports.

Matangi Tonga Magazine
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