November 4, 2016 (Mainichi Japan)
Paris accord takes effect to combat global warming

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The Paris Agreement on fighting global warming entered into force Friday, creating a new international framework for involving every country in reining in greenhouse gas emissions.

The accord, adopted at the U.N. convention on climate change in December and ratified by many major emitters including China and the United States, aims to hold global average temperature rises to "well below" 2 C above preindustrial levels to avoid the serious consequences scientists say will be caused by climate change, such as more droughts, floods, melting glaciers and rising seas.

Japan, which has lagged behind other major emitters, is expected to ratify the landmark agreement later in the day. The Cabinet proposed ratification to the Diet after it became clear the accord would take effect.

Countries will set their own emissions reduction targets and provide progressively more ambitious targets every five years, but there are no penalties for missing these goals.

Clearing the condition of ratification by at least 55 nations accounting for 55 percent of global emissions in October, the accord took effect in less than a year after adoption, a rare speed for a multilateral accord.

The first gathering of the signatories to the new accord will take place Nov. 15, during the 22nd session of the Convention of Parties starting Nov. 7 in Morocco. Japan will not be able to attend the first session of signatories as a member.

Once Japan becomes a signatory, it will be required as a major emitter to strengthen its efforts to curb carbon emissions and provide funds and knowledge to developing countries to support their efforts.