On 30 September 2016, EU ministers, in a historic move, approved 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.
During his press conference speech, EU 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. They said we were all talk. 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."
Once approved by the European Parliament in October 2016, the EU will be able to deposit its ratification instrument before national ratification processes are completed in each Member State (MS).
The Paris Agreement is a mixed agreement, which means that some of the issues it covers are the responsibility of the EU, and others the responsibility of the MS. It therefore has to be ratified by both the EU and all 28 MS. France, Hungary, Austria and Slovakia have alreadt completed their national ratification procedures, while several other MS are very close to doing so.
So far, 61 countries around the world, 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 in December 2015, 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.
For further information, please visit the relevant European Commission website at the link below.