UN says EU may ratify Paris Agreement on Climate Change soon

The two ratifications would mean countries accounting for nearly 65 per cent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions

By: AP | United Nations | Published:September 29, 2016 4:30 am
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The Paris Agreement on Climate Change appears likely to enter into force with India announcing that it has ratified the agreement and the EU signaling it may ratify within the next few days, officials said.

The two ratification would mean countries accounting for nearly 65 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions will have approved the accord, which is set to take effect 30 days after 55 countries accounting for 55 per cent of emissions deposit their ratification instruments with the UN Currently 61 countries accounting for nearly 48 per cent of emissions have joined the accord.

“We’ve heard that the European Union may deposit its ratification instruments with us much sooner than we had expected, which would be tremendous news because that would put us over the top in terms of the percentage of emissions, because we’re already there in terms of the number of countries needed,” UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric said yesterday.

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If that were to happen before October 7 the next UN conference on climate change set to take place in Marrakech would begin on Nov 7 with the agreement already in force, something Dujarric said “would send a very strong signal to the rest of the world.”

Indian officials, who declined to be identified because they were not authorised to speak with the press, said India, accounting for about 4.5 per cent of emissions, ratified the agreement yesterday and planned to deposit the ratification instruments with the UN on October 2, the anniversary of Mahatma Ghandi’s birth.

Germany ratified the accord on September 23 but EU rules require European countries, responsible for around 12 per cent of emissions, to deposit their ratifications as a bloc when all 28 members have approved the deal.

Diplomats and media reports said the EU hoped to speed the process at a meeting later this week and finalise approval by October 7.

The Paris Agreement asks both rich and poor countries to take action to curb the rise in global temperatures that is melting glaciers, raising sea levels and shifting rainfall patterns. It requires governments to present national plans to reduce emissions to limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius.

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