Climate Change Conference

Paris Agreement to enter into force as the European Union has ratified it

The European Parliament has approved the ratification of the Paris Agreement, in the presence of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. “We now have an opportunity to make history by helping to lead the world to a better future”.

By a vote of 610 in favour to 38 against, with 31 abstentions, the European Parliament has approved the ratification of the Paris Agreement on the 4th of October. With the European Union’s ratification, the Paris Agreement can now enter into force, given that the 55 per cent emission threshold has been crossed and at least 55 countries have signed.

An historic moment for climate

“The ratification of the Paris Agreement is a remarkable achievement considering that it addresses one of the most complex, all-embracing issues of our time,” said United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. “Earlier this week, India formally joined the agreement, after China and the United States. I congratulate all these governments on their commitment. We now have an opportunity to make history by helping to lead the world to a better future”.

accordo di parigi
The European Parliament  GERARD CERLES/AFP/Getty Images

“We are working to secure a swift entry into force of the agreement,” said Giovanni La Via, chair of the environment committee. “We have to substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For this reason, we are now going to do a lot of legislative work on climate policy. We are working on efforts sharing, which concerns reducing emissions in sectors not part of the emissions trading system”.

The European Union has ratified the Agreement in record time

While the entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol took 8 years, the Paris Agreement took only less than 12 months. This is a sign that countries have the will to commit politically and legally for reducing emissions and maintaining the global temperature rise below 2°C.

The Paris Agreement is likely to enter into force in Marrakech, Morocco, during the COP21, the climate change conference to be held from 7 to 18 November 2016. This will happen in advance of the US elections, with Republican candidate Donald Trump contrary to it.

“In Marrakech we will start the process of implementing the policies after Paris,” explained La Via. “We plan to make significant progress on key elements of the agreement, including an enhanced transparency framework, details of the global stocktake, further guidance on nationally determined contributions and a mechanism to facilitate implementation and promote compliance”.

“Slow delivery on promises made is a phenomenon that more and more risks undermining the Union’s credibility,” said European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. “Take the Paris agreement. We Europeans are the world leaders on climate action. It was Europe that brokered the first-ever legally binding, global climate deal. It was Europe that built the coa­lition of ambition that made agreement in Paris possible. I call on all Member States and on this Parliament to do your part in the next weeks, not months. We should be faster.”

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