Minister for Foreign Affairs, Lilja Alfreðsdóttir, has put forward a resolution to Parliament on the ratification of the United Nations' Paris Agreement. The Agreement, which was approved last December and signed in April, commits states to take action to address climate change.
"The Paris Agreement is the most ambitious climate agreement reached and is a foundation for future policy on climate change. It is about the future and our responsibility towards our children," says Minister Alfreðsdóttir.
"By ratifying the Paris Agreement we contribute to it entering into force globally as soon as possible. I hope for a swift ratification by Iceland's Parliament," says Alfreðsdóttir.. The Agreement will enter into force once 55 Parties to the Convention, accounting for at least 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions have ratified it. It has already been ratified by over 20 States, an important milestone being the announcement by the United States and China that they were to ratify the agreement.
Parties to the Paris Agreement set a goal for reducing emissions, the so-called nationally determined contributions, within the legal framework of the Paris Agreement. Iceland announced its goals on 30 June 2015, aiming for a 40% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, compared to 1990, collectively and in cooperation with the EU Member States and Norway. Iceland's final obligations will be determined jointly by the three parties, by next year.
"We see this as a logical extension of our good cooperation with the EU and Norway. Iceland continues to join hands with some of the most ambitious states in the world in addressing climate change," said the Foreign Minister. She welcomed in particular provisions on gender equality in the Paris Agreement, as Iceland pushed for those during the negotiations.