3-Year Window for Iran's Paris Accord Accession

3-Year Window for Iran's Paris Accord Accession3-Year Window for Iran's Paris Accord Accession

Iran has delayed the ratification of Paris Agreement while it has only a three-year window to join the accord, on the ground that it requires careful domestic planning to meet the 4% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

Mohsen Nasseri, the head of National Climate Change Plan in the Department of Environment, evaluated the delay as positive since it provides time to examine the socioeconomic ramifications of the accord.

"Iran is not alone in taking the time to closely examine the deal, as Russia’s state Duma (one of the two chambers of the Federal Assembly–the parliament of the Russian Federation) is also looking into the accord," he told ISNA.

While China, India and Brazil, along with many other developing countries and wealthy nations such as the US and EU member states have recently chosen to ratify the Paris Agreement, Russia is absent from the list of backers.

As the world’s fifth largest emitter, Russia has so far not sped up its ratification process nor set a deadline for it to happen. Russian representatives have affirmed that the country needs more time to craft a feasible strategy for reducing its dependency on carbon and fossil fuels, without hurting its economy.

"It seems that Russia is keen on monitoring global trends more closely [before accepting the treaty], which may not be so bad," Nasseri said, adding that Iran, too, needs to do the same and has currently adopted the same policy.

In Iran, the Paris climate accord, approved by the council of ministers and then Majlis, has been submitted to the Guardians Council for further assessment.

It has until 2020 to adopt the Paris climate agreement and act in accordance with the objectives of the treaty.

Nasseri noted that if the agreement is approved by the council, then Iran’s Foreign Ministry will submit the final documents to the secretariat of the climate agreement convention, and that is when Iran effectively accedes to the Paris Agreement. Nevertheless, in May 2017, Iran unveiled the National Strategic Plan on Climate Change, which outlines the role of every government sector in reducing Iran's carbon emissions and measures to mitigate the impacts of a warming planet on various sectors, including health and agriculture.

According to Iran’s Meteorological Organization, the country’s greenhouse gas emissions have increased by 3% in the past decade and the average temperature has risen by 1.8°C since 1750, considerably higher than the global average of 1.1°C.

The Paris climate accord is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change dealing with greenhouse gas emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance starting in 2020. The agreement aims to respond to the global climate change threat by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2° Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5° Celsius. Some countries have been reluctant to enter global climate agreements, as they have found the accord to be an impediment to domestic economic growth and advancement. In June 2017, US President Donald Trump announced his intention to withdraw the United States from the agreement, causing widespread condemnation internationally and domestically. Under the agreement, the earliest effective date of withdrawal for the US is November 2020.

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