During a high-level UN event in New York, marking the entry into force of the United Nations Paris Agreement, Iceland's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Lilja Alfreðsdóttir, announced today that Iceland has formally ratified the Agreement. “By ratifying the Paris Agreement Iceland has joined hands with a number of countries in paving the way for this immensely important global agreement to enter into force as soon as possible." Minister Alfreðsdóttir said. "Iceland stands shoulder to shoulder with many of the world's most ambitious states when it comes to addressing climate change," said the Foreign Minister as she welcomed in particular provisions on gender equality in the Paris Agreement, which was one of Iceland's priorities during the negotiations.
The Paris Agreement will enter into force once 55 Parties to the Convention, accounting for at least 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions, have ratified it. To date the Convention has been ratified by around 30 States. An important milestone was recently reached when the United States and China announced 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.