The result – the first-ever universal, legally binding global climate deal which sets out a global action plan to put the world on track to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2oC.
To further underline their determination countries also agreed to pursue efforts to limit temperature increase to 1,5oC.
Now, 10 months on from that historic outcome, the European Union (EU) remains proud of the ambitious Paris Agreement and Papua New Guinea should be too. For the vision of a global low emissions future to materialise, our attention needs to turn to putting our words into action.
Already this year, we have seen encouraging signs that our partners around the world are keen to maintain the unprecedented political momentum in support of climate action.
More than 180 countries have now signed the Paris Agreement, including Papua New Guinea, and 22 have completed their domestic ratification procedures and become Parties to the Agreement.
The EU Delegation and its Member States, France and United Kingdom, issue the following joint statement: "We congratulate Papua New Guinea on being one of the first countries to ratify. Papua New Guinea is setting a model for the region, by ratifying the Paris Agreement and passing its related Bill making it legally binding."
Ratification is an important step towards implementation of the Paris Agreement but ratifying the agreement on its own will not deliver the necessary greenhouse gas reductions, adaptation action and financing. Equally important are the steps countries will take to meet the commitments made in Paris, starting with the policy and legislative frameworks required to develop robust national climate plans and international approaches.
The EU and its Member States are moving forward with our ambitious domestic climate policies, with new proposals that will help us meet our emissions reduction target of at least 40% by 2030 and further drive the transition to a low-carbon economy. With more than two decades of experience in developing and implementing ambitious climate policy, the EU stands ready to share our experience and lessons learned for the benefit of others.
We are committed to supporting Papua New Guinea and other climate-vulnerable nations to develop national climate plans and make the transition to low-carbon climate-resilient economies.
In PNG, the EU has supported efforts to generate and adapt agricultural technologies to mitigate climate change imposed risk to food production within vulnerable smallholder farming communities. We will continue to support the Forest Authority in the implementation of the National Forest Inventory programme to reduce illegal logging by strengthening sustainable and legal forest management.
As well as developing long-term climate strategies, there are actions we all need to take now. In just a few months, countries will gather in Marrakech to start to add the technical detail to the breakthrough political agreement in Paris.
Building capacity to act, addressing loss and damage associated with climate change and setting out a roadmap to reach climate finance targets are just some of the issues on the table. Before then, countries will also aim to reach multilateral agreements on limiting aviation emissions and phasing out highly climate warming gasses used in refrigeration and air conditioning.
And it is not just governments taking action. Businesses, cities and civil society all have a crucial role to play in delivering the action on the ground that will really make a difference. Paris was a defining moment in the safeguarding of the planet for future generations. We must maintain that momentum in the months and years ahead, because the prize is worth it: lower emissions, greater energy security and energy efficiency, innovation-driven growth.
EU Head of Missions to PNG said: "There is lots of work to do, and we look forward to a continued partnership with Papua New Guinea and explore opportunities to give more prominence to climate change in our bilateral cooperation."