EU member states today (30 September) agreed to speed up the process of ratifying the climate agreement reached among nearly 200 countries at COP21 in Paris last December.
The European Council, made up of the environment ministers of the 28 EU member states, has decided to start the EU-level ratification process of last year’s deal.
Last year’s UNFCCC climate talks in Paris clinched a historic deal that united all the world’s nations in a single agreement to tackle climate change for the first time and to keep the global temperature rise below two degrees Celsius.
To open the way for EU ratification, ministers endorsed a Council decision on EU conclusion of the agreement and asked the European Parliament for its consent.
“Today is an important day not only for our action on climate but also for unity we have demonstrated. This means that EU and its member states will add their weight to trigger the entry into force of the Paris Agreement."
- Slovak Environment Minister László Sólymos said.
Once the European Parliament gives its green light, the Council will formally adopt the decision on conclusion. The EU will then be able to ratify the agreement.
Slovak Environment Minister László Sólymos said: "Today is an important day not only for our action on climate but also for unity we have demonstrated. This means that EU and its member states will add their weight to trigger the entry into force of the Paris Agreement."
Some issues covered by the Paris Agreement are the responsibility of the EU and others fall under the remit of EU member states – meaning that both the EU and all 28 countries individually must ratify it. So far France, Hungary, Austria and Slovakia have completed their national ratification procedures and several others countries are in the process of doing so.
The Paris Agreement gave clear momentum to the heating, air-conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC&R) industry to seek viable alternatives to substances with high global-warming potential. Manufacturers and end users of natural refrigerant technologies broadly welcomed the deal, seeing business opportunities in delivering a zero-emission economy and in reducing HFC use to help keep the global temperature rise below two degrees Celsius.