Japan, New Zealand to Endorse Paris climate deal in 2016

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Officials in Tokyo and Wellington, have confirmed that Japan and New Zealand will formally approve the Paris climate agreement this year, respectively.

In a statement published on the New Zealand government website, climate minister Paula Bennett said it would ratify the deal before November’s UN climate summit in Marrakech, Morocco.

“This is an ambitious target that won’t be easy for New Zealand to achieve. All parts of society have a part to play in the transition to a lower emissions economy, from central and local government through to businesses and communities,” she said.

Japan is the world’s seventh largest carbon polluter, accounting for nearly 3% of global emissions. New Zealand accounts for 0.15% of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to 2010 EU data. Announcement makes entry into force for Paris deal more likely, but concerns remain over both countries’ weak emission cutting goals

Nevertheless, the news boosts confidences that a critical mass of support from 55 countries covering 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions will be met to allow the 2015 treaty to come into force.

So far a mixture of 22 small island states and developing countries representing 1.09% of global emissions have ratified the agreement, with the US, China, Brazil and India expected to sign up later this year.

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