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European Union States to be Asked to Ratify Climate Deal

by AFP
Daniel Roland—AFP

Daniel Roland—AFP

French environment minister says all member nations will be urged to ratify Paris Agreement later this month.

European Union member states will be asked collectively to ratify the landmark Paris agreement to fight climate change within two weeks, French environment minister Segolene Royal said Thursday.

Experts say the world’s fast-track ratification of the Paris Agreement clinched in December would help push the U.N. forum sponsoring the deal to flesh out the rules and procedures needed to move forward. The European Commission, the E.U. executive, will ask environment ministers from the 28 member states to ratify the climate deal when they meet in Luxembourg on June 20, Royal said after talks with Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker.

She expected a proposal to be submitted next week for the meeting’s agenda. The European Parliament will then have to ratify it. “The ratifications will accelerate. There is an extremely positive realization that is being expressed today,” according to Royal, the co-chair with Morocco of the negotiating process.

Royal also urged the member states to present a timetable for ratification in their own national parliaments.

The E.U. negotiated the Paris agreement on behalf of its member states, committing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. But intense negotiations are now expected among member states to decide how each country will realize the overall objective.

The Paris Agreement will take effect after it is ratified by at least 55 countries that account for at least 55 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. These countries will then be legally bound by it.

The Paris pact calls for capping global warming at well below two degrees Celsius, and 1.5C if possible. The accord, which could enter into force later this year, far sooner than expected, sets ambitious goals for capping global warming and funneling trillions of dollars to poor countries facing an onslaught of climate damage.

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