Historic vote by the European Parliament paves the way for the ratification of the Paris Agreement
The European Union has concluded the political process for the ratification of the Paris Agreement. The last hurdle was cleared in a historic vote on 4th October when the European Parliament gave its consent by 610 votes to 38, with 31 abstentions. Ratifications representing at least 55 Parties and 55% of global emissions are needed for the Agreement to enter into force. While the first condition is already met, the historic vote in the European Parliament allows the second to be met too. To date, 62 Parties, accounting for 51.89% of global emissions, have formally deposited their instruments of ratification. The European Union accounts for some 12 % of global greenhouse gas emissions. The Paris Agreement will thus enter into force in time for the COP22 Climate Change Conference in Marrakech from 7-18 November 2016.
The entry into force of the Paris agreement less than one year after its signature is a massive achievement. Today’s vote also means that the EU remains a climate leader” said European Parliament President Martin Schulz who signed the letter of transfer for Parliament’s consent to the EU ratification. “ The European Union has a long track record of leadership against climate change”, noted the United Nation's Secretary General Mr Ban Ki-moon before the vote. He also added that fighting climate change is not only one of the most important challenges of our times, but also an opportunity to build a more sustainable and competitive economy and more stable societies. The European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: "Today the European Union turned climate ambition into climate action. We continued to show leadership and prove that, together, the European Union can deliver."
The EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete, said: “The world is moving and Europe is in the driver's seat, confident and proud of leading the work to tackle climate change". The immediate next step is for the European Council to formally adopt the Decision via a written procedure. The EU, together with the 7 member states that have completed the ratification process (Hungary, France, Slovakia, Austria, Malta, Portugal and Germany), will deposit the ratification instruments at the UN headquarters in New York by Friday 7 October. The European Parliament will also vote a resolution, setting out their priorities for the next round of talks to start in November at the COP in Marrakesh, focussing on the effort-sharing among the Parties that will be needed to meet the Paris targets.