EU ministers have approved the ratification of the Paris Agreement by the European Union at an extraordinary meeting of the Environment Council in Brussels.
This decision brings the Paris Agreement very close to entering into force, according to the European Commission.
Today’s approval will be forwarded to the European Parliament for its formal consent next week.
Once approved by the European Parliament, the EU will be able to deposit its ratification instrument before national ratification processes are completed in each Member State.
Jean-Claude Juncker, European Commission President, said: “I am happy to see that today the Member States decided to make history together and bring closer the entry into force of the first ever universally binding climate change agreement. We must and we can hand over to future generations a world that is more stable, a healthier planet, fairer societies and more prosperous economies. This is not a dream. This is a reality and it is within our reach. Today we are closer to it.”
EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete, said: “I now count on the European Parliament to conclude the process next week. We have already passed the key threshold for the required number of countries and are close to the second trigger for entry into force. Ratification is a crucial step towards implementing the Paris Agreement.”
So far, 61 countries, accounting for almost 48% of global emissions have ratified the deal.
The Paris Agreement will enter into force 30 days after at least 55 countries, representing at least 55% of global emissions have ratified.