World / Europe

EU to speed up climate change ratification process

By Fu Jing in Brussels ( Updated: 2016-10-01 05:27

The European Union is speeding up the process of ratifying the Paris Climate Change Agreement, giving hope it will enter into force by the end of this year if the EU's legislative body votes for it on Tuesday.

Before the European Parliament'scoming vote, India will also ratify it on Sunday. The big emitters' quick actions come inthe wake of Beijing and Washington's approval of the agreement before the G20 Summit in early September in China.

The European Parliament said on Friday that it will vote on Tuesday on its consent to the ratification of the Paris climate agreement by the European Union, after European Council gave its green light on Friday.

Giovanni La Via, Environment Committee chair of European Parliament, said the decision would allow the EU to remain a leader in climate action ahead of the next round of talks due to take place in Marrakech, Morocco in November.

"I welcome the decision by environment ministers to allow for a timely EU ratification," said La Via. "This decision will permit Parliament to conclude the agreement and will send a strong signal and highlight the leadership of the EU and its Member States and their continuing efforts to address climate change at international level."

He added: "The prospect that the Paris Agreement might enter into force without the EU as a signatory, considering the EU's leadership on the fight against climate change, its role in the Kyoto Protocol, and its continuous efforts towards a subsequent universal treaty, would have been unthinkable."

On Monday evening, the Environment Committee will meet to vote on its recommendations to plenary.

Next week, the European Parliament will hold a debate with the Council and Commission on priorities for the next round of talks. The Parliament will send a delegation led by La Via to Marrakesh to follow the talks closely and work with its counterparts.

The Paris Agreement will enter into force after the date on which at least 55 Parties (out of 197) to the Convention, accounting in total for at least an estimated 55 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, have deposited their instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession with the UN Depositary.

To date 61 parties, including the US and China, have ratified or approved the agreement, accounting for 47.79 percent of global carbon emissions, while India will ratify the Paris Agreement on the 2nd of October.

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