Paris Agreement formally enters into force

4 November 2016

The historic Paris Agreement on climate change sets the course for a fundamental transformation of the global economy over the next decades.

With the entry into force of the historic Paris Agreement today, the world is finally committing to tackling climate change.

The agreement was ratified last month, less than a year after it was approved by 197 countries under the French Presidency at COP21 last December. The agreement marks an unprecedented milestone in the global effort to combat climate change.

Under the landmark agreement, nations have agreed to limit greenhouse gas emissions and focus efforts and investments toward a low-carbon, resilient and sustainable future. The goal is to keep global average temperatures from rising well below 2°C with the aim of working to limit it to 1.5°C.  

The question now turns to implementing the terms of the agreement, helping nations meet their goals and, more critically, ratchet them further. Next week, the world meets in Marrakesh, Morocco, during COP22 to do just that.

The International Energy Agency will soon release World Energy Outlook 2016, which will highlight the various pathways to reach these targets. The report this year looks at individual country pledges and examines how close – or far – nations are from reaching these goals. It outlines a course that would limit the rise in global temperature to below 2°C and, for the first time, it also plots possible pathways for meeting the much more ambitious 1.5°C goal.

“Let’s not underestimate the task ahead,” said Dr Fatih Birol, the executive director of the IEA. “Limiting carbon emissions and changing our energy systems is a monumental challenge. But the IEA is working with governments around the world to help identify solutions and show how it can be done.”

The Paris Agreement will transform the global energy system for decades to come. WEO-2016 will examine how a post-Paris world redefines the idea of energy security, particularly in the power sector, the frontline in the fight against climate change.  

WEO-2016 offers the most comprehensive analysis of what this transformation of the energy sector might look like, thanks to its energy projections to 2040. It reviews the key opportunities and challenges ahead for renewable energy, the central pillar of the low-carbon energy transition, as well as the critical role for energy efficiency. 

WEO-2016 is released on 16 November.