Today the Federal Government approved the signing of the Paris Agreement thus making it possible for Federal Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks to sign the Agreement on behalf of Germany at the signing ceremony in New York on 22 April 2016.
Minister Hendricks noted: "This was an important formality and now Germany will be among the first to sign the Paris Agreement. I am confident that a host of nations will come together in New York at the end of April to sign the Agreement together with us. We want to show the world that the Paris Agreement will be implemented swiftly and energetically."
A high-level signing ceremony will take place in New York on 22 April 2016 at the invitation of the Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon. On 22 April the international community celebrates Earth Day, an international environmental action day.
The Agreement was adopted at the climate summit in December 2015 and is the first to place all countries under a joint obligation. It is common procedure for international treaties to be signed a few months after their conclusion. According to international law they will only become binding when the next step, the ratification, is taken. The Paris Agreement will enter into force after it is ratified by 55 states and once these states cover at least 55 percent of global emissions.
The Federal Government is planning on a swift ratification of the Agreement. The exact schedule is currently being discussed within the EU. As the Paris Agreement on Climate Change relates to powers at both EU and member state level, the EU and the member states will sign it together.