European Union ministers approve ratification of Paris climate treaty

European Union ministers approved the ratification of the Paris Agreement at a historic meeting of the Environment Council in Brussels on Friday. This decision brings the Paris Agreement closer to entering into force. The 28 EU member nations together account for close to 12 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Their addition will take the cumulative emissions of ratifying parties well beyond the 55 per cent minimum required for the treaty to enter into force.

The Paris treaty had already crossed the first condition of 55 countries ratifying the treaty to enable its entry into force on September 21 at the UN Secretary-General’s special ratification ceremony organised at the UN headquarters. Thirty one countries submitted their ratification instruments during that ceremony.

In a statement on Friday, the European Commission said that 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. As of now, only five EU nations have ratified the agreement at the national level. Friday’s approval by the EU will be forwarded to the European Parliament for its formal consent next week. Once Parliament has consented, the Council can formally adopt the decision.

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