In a historic move, EU ministers approved last Friday the ratification of the Paris Agreement by the European Union. The decision was reached at an extraordinary meeting of the Environment Council in Brussels. This decision brings the Paris Agreement very close to entering into force.
Once approved by the European Parliament next week, the EU will be able to deposit its ratification instrument before national ratification processes are completed in each Member State.
Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said: “They said Europe is too complicated to agree quickly. They said we had too many hoops to jump through. Today’s decision shows what Europe is all about: unity and solidarity as Member States take a European approach, just as we did in Paris. We are reaching a critical period for decisive climate action. And when the going gets tough, Europe gets going.”
So far, 61 countries, accounting for almost 48% of global emissions have ratified the deal. The Agreement will enter into force 30 days after at least 55 countries, representing at least 55% of global emissions have ratified.
The EU, which played a decisive role in the adoption of the Paris Agreement last December, is a global leader on climate action. The European Commission has already brought forward the main legislative proposals to deliver on the EU’s commitment to reduce emissions in the European Union by at least 40% by 2030.
Today’s approval will be forwarded to the European Parliament for its formal consent next week. Once Parliament has consented, the Council can formally adopt the Decision.