The European Parliament has given its go-ahead for the EU to approve the Paris climate agreement, with its 28 member nations expected to sign the pact this week and push past the global threshold needed to enter the deal into force.
Ratification by the EU, which accounts for about 12 percent of global emissions, is expected to be deposited with the United Nations by Friday, the Reuters news agency reports.
Nations who submitted their ratifications in September at the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York moved the deal past the 55 countries needed. That total still fell short of the global emissions threshold of 55 percent necessary to enact the Paris Agreement. The EU decision achieves that goal.
The EU legal approval follows last week’s Environmental Council meeting of EU ministers in Brussels, who approved ratification. That progress was hailed by Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete as proof of European unity and global leadership in the fight for a sustainable future.
With the parliament’s approval, the Council can formally adopt the decision. The Paris Agreement then goes into force 30 days after the required thresholds are met – and just in time to coincide with the COP22 meeting.
Morocco, host of the COP22 conference in Marrakech in November, was one of 31 countries to ratify the Paris Agreement during UNGA last month.
The Moroccan commitment, alongside that of African nations including Ghana, Uganda, Madagascar and Niger, brought to 60 the nations that had ratified the action plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and to limit the dangerous effects of climate change and global warming.
The COP22 conference runs from 7 November through 18 November, with a special emphasis on Africa’s role in climate action.