Poland ratifies the Paris Agreement

Sejm, the lower chamber of Polish parliament voted in favour of Poland ratifying the Paris Agreement on climate change. The move was followed by the same vote by the Senate. Finally, President Andrzej Duda officially ratified the agreement on limiting greenhouse gas emission and curbing global warming.

Poland became a signatory to the agreement on 22 April 2015. Yesterday, the agreement was ratified. The next step is providing the instrument of ratification to the UN headquarters in New York.

The agreement is a landmark step in the process of tackling climate change. Signatories’ goal is to limit global warming by keeping the rise of global temperature below 2 degrees Celsius. The way to do this is to limit emissions of greenhouse gases, such as CO2. Poland, according to current estimates, can be attributed to a little over 1 percent of global greenhouse emissions.

The Paris Agreement was concluded during 2015 UN Climate Change Conference. The document comes into force after at least 55 percent of the countries responsible for 55 percent of greenhouse gas emissions ratify the document. The threshold was reached on 5 October 2016. At this point, there are 75 countries that ratified the agreement.

The deal has been ratified by the European Union as a body, but individual member states will do this individually as well. Last Wednesday the instruments of ratification were submitted to the UN by such countries as France, Germany, Austria and Portugal. On the global scale, the European Union is responsible for around 12 percent of world greenhouse emissions.

The signatories of the Paris Agreement recognize the fact that global warming is a vital threat to the world economies and wellbeing of world population. As the oceans rise, certain areas are endangered with going under water. Extreme weather, such as hurricanes and draught, is also a result of global temperature rising.

Poland is also obliged to cut its C02 emissions by internal EU regulations. The country, unlike other European Union members, is heavily dependent on coal for energy production. There are no nuclear plants in the country.

What is more, current Polish government does not look favourably on limiting coal production. Although the mining industry brings losses, the state officials are determined to keep it alive due to a huge number of jobs it creates. Cutting CO2 emissions will surely be a big challenge for this and future governments.