Norway first developed nation to ratify Paris Agreement

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Norway first developed nation to ratify Paris Agreement
Amb. Geir O Pedersen (right), seen here in 2014 with PM Erna Solberg and FM Børge Brende, delivered the final approval on Monday. Photo: Pontus Höök / NTB scanpix

Norway on Monday became the first industrialized nation in the world, and the 18th overall, to formally ratify the Paris Agreement.


The Paris Agreement was negotiated in the French capital last December, and has been signed by 177 countries. Climate and Environment Minister Vidar Helgesen signed the agreement on April 22nd on behalf of Norway in the UN headquarters. 
Parliament last week voted in favour of ratifying the agreement as it approved a plan to become carbon-neutral by 2030, a full two decades ahead of schedule. 
On Monday in New York, Norway's UN ambassador Geir O. Pedersen delivered the ratified agreement to the UN headquarters, Helgesen wrote on Twitter.
“Yesterday evening Norwegian time Geir O. Pedersen deposited Norway’s ratification of the Paris Agreement with the United Nations. As the 18th country and the first industrialized country,” he wrote.  
Cooperation with EU
French President François Hollande signed ratification documents last Wednesday, but the country's formal ratification will not be in place until all EU countries have completed their internal processes.
Thus Norway was able to leapfrog France as the first industrial nation to deliver a final and formal approval to the agreement.
“We are aiming for a joint implementation with the EU to achieve the climate targets for 2030. It gives us solid, binding and predictable European regulations to work from when we will carry out our goal of 40 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions,” Helgesen said.
The Paris Agreement will enter into force when at least 55 countries - which together account for at least 55 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions - have joined the treaty.
“Norway is a driving force in getting as many countries to ratify the Paris Agreement as quickly as possible, so that it can formally come into force,” Helgesen said. 
So far, Norway, Somalia, Palestine and 15 smaller island states have ratified Paris Agreement, but the hope is that major emissions nations like the US, China and Brazil will join it this year.


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