EU approves fast track approval of Paris Accord

The European Parliament has approved ratification by the 28-nation European Union of the global climate deal, agreed in Paris late last year.

The vote in Strasbourg on Tuesday morning saw a total of 679 votes cast, with 610 in favour of ratification and 31 abstentions. Just 38 MEPs voted against ratification.
European Parliament vote
The EU aims to deposit its ratification document at the United Nations later this week, making the climate deal’s enactment criteria fulfilled. That would pave the way for the Paris agreement to take effect 30 days later, in time for the first meeting of parties to occur at this year’s UN climate-change conference starting on Nov. 7 in Morocco.

“Today the European Union turned climate ambition into climate action,” said European Commission’s President Jean-Claude Juncker.

US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping ratified the deal in early September. India approved the agreement on two days ago, taking the number of countries that have joined the agreement to 62. Together, the nations are responsible for 51.89 percent of global greenhouse-gas discharges.

The Paris accord needs to be ratified by at least 55 parties accounting for 55 per cent of global emissions to enter into force. The EU’s 28 nations account together for 12 percent and the seven member states who already ratified the agreement domestically cover 4.57 percent, enough to meet the 55 percent requirement.

The ratification at the union level approved by the EU Parliament enables the bloc to join the Paris agreement before the remaining member nations finalize their domestic approval procedures.

Under the global accord reached in December, more than 190 nations agreed to work toward capping global temperature increases since pre-industrial times to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit). The EU aims to reduce the heat-trapping gases by at least 40 percent in 2030 compared with 1990 levels.

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