The Minister for Climate Change Paula Bennett (external link) announced New Zealand's ratification of the Paris Agreement on climate change on 5 October 2016.

A primary goal of the agreement is to keep global temperature rise well below 2 degrees C above preindustrial levels while pursuing efforts to limit temperature increase to 1.5 degrees C.

Permanent Representative to the United Nations Gerard van Bohemen deposited the Instrument of Ratification with the United Nations in New York.

Ratification is the formal step that countries must take to be full participants and to ensure the deal takes effect.

The early timing of New Zealand's ratification enables us to join the group of countries that make up 55 per cent of global emissions - the minimum needed to get the Paris Agreement across the line.

It also guarantees New Zealand a seat at the decision-making table when the Conference of Parties to the Paris Agreement convenes – which is expected to happen at the next United Nations climate change meeting in Marrakech in November.

Under the agreement, each nation is required to set an emissions reduction target. New Zealand committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions to 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.