Forum Member Marshall Islands Third Nation to Ratify Paris Agreement
With the Marshall Islands becoming the third nation to ratify the Paris Agreement on climate change today, the actions of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) members continue to lead efforts aimed at the early entry into force of the Agreement. The move follows other Climate Vulnerable Forum members Fiji and Palau who ratified the agreement in February 2016. Marshall Islands’ President, H.E. the Hon. Dr. Hilda Heine, in announcing the move, also highlighted the importance of ratification for governments to “move quickly to realign their emissions targets with the new 1.5ºC warming limit the world agreed to pursue in Paris.”
Marshall Islands ratifies Paris Agreement after declaring drought a State of Disaster; will continue to lead “High Ambition Coalition”
MAJURO, Republic of the Marshall Islands – 21 March 2016: The Nitijela (parliament) of the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) gave its approval* on Friday for the low-lying atoll nation to become the third country to ratify the Paris Agreement, allowing it to follow closely in the footsteps of its Pacific island neighbors Fiji and Palau, which both completed their ratification processes in February.
The move comes just a week after the country was put on high-alert for widespread king-tide inundation, and ten days after the Government declared a State of Disaster in response to worsening drought conditions that threaten to leave the atoll nation’s capital Majuro without any fresh water supplies in less than three months’ time.
New Marshallese President, H.E. the Hon. Dr. Hilda Heine, and Foreign Minister the Hon. John Silk are now preparing to travel to New York to take part in the UN Secretary-General’s HighLevel Signing Ceremony on 22 April, and to deposit RMI’s instrument of ratification to make it a full Party to the Paris Agreement.
Speaking after the Nitijela’s approval of the Paris Agreement, President Heine said: “No President wants one of their first acts in office to be to declare a state of disaster. But by becoming one of the first countries to ratify the Paris Agreement, we have shown our determination to continue to lead this fight from the front.”
“The big tasks now are to ensure that the Paris Agreement enters into force as soon as possible, and that governments move quickly to realign their emissions targets with the new 1.5ºC warming limit the world agreed to pursue in Paris.”
“To that end, we are pleased to see the UK move to legislate a date for achieving net zero emissions, which the science says must be no later than 2050.”
While considering ratification of the Paris Agreement last week, the Nitijela also approved the appointment of former Foreign Minister Tony de Brum as RMI’s new Ambassador for Climate Change based in Majuro and housed within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In his new role, Ambassador de Brum will continue to lead RMI’s engagement on international climate change issues, including leadership of the High Ambition Coalition that helped to secure a number of key elements in the Paris Agreement. RMI intends to call the Coalition together again in the margins of the UN signing ceremony in New York next month.
*All Nitijela resolutions officially enter the record ten days after passage.