Sunday

18th Nov 2018

EU rushing to ratify climate agreement

  • The EU needs to sign up to the Paris climate agreement before 7 October (Photo: Mikko Itälahti)

The EU, a leading force in pushing for a climate agreement in Paris last year, is now rushing to sign the deal and be around the table when it starts being implemented.

Environment ministers will meet on 30 September to speed up the EU's ratification process in order to be ready by 7 October, 30 days before the next UN conference on climate change, the COP 22, in November in Marrakech.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

About 60 countries, representing 47.7 percent of global greenhouse emissions, have signed the agreement so far.

Fifty five countries, representing 55 percent of emissions, are necessary to have ratified it for the agreement to enter into force. This could happen before the end of the year.


Not being in the leading pack would be "reputation damage" for the EU, a source said.

Ministers will try to agree on an accelerated process, that would lead to a joint statement by the European Commission and the EU Council, representing member states.

The text would then be endorsed by the European Parliament at its next plenary session early October.

The fast-track procedure would allow the EU to sign up to the Paris agreement as a bloc, without waiting for ratification by all 28 member states.

So far only France, Hungary, Austria and Slovakia have ratified the agreement. Slovakia, which will chair the ministers meeting next week, sped up its national process to set an example.

In the joint statement, which still has to be drafted, the other countries would promise to do so as soon as possible.

At the Bratislava summit last week, EU leaders agreed to the accelerated process that bypasses member states procedures, but some member states want a guarantee that it would not set a precedent.

Ten months after the Paris COP 21, the EU finds itself lagging behind because the ratification process at 28 takes a long time and also because the double threshold of signatories and emissions could be reached earlier than expected.

"After the Paris summit, nobody expected that the process would be sped up in so many countries," a diplomat said.

"A few months ago, the COP 22 was supposed to be to prepare the implementation, not to have the first CMA," referring the meeting of countries that have signed.

"The situation has dramatically changed" with ratification by the US, and more surprisingly by China, earlier this month. Together the two countries amount to around 40 percent of global emissions, bringing closer the entry into force of the deal.

Now, the diplomat said, the EU "needs to be a credible partner" after it pushed for an agreement at the Paris conference.

Not being at the CMA table "would be a failure of the EU," he said.

Opinion

Will Paris climate accord change the world?

The Paris climate accord might not change the world. But the collective, political moment can empower an economic revolution if business and science reacts.

EU to ratify Paris climate deal

EU states have agreed to fast-track ratification of the Paris climate change agreement, leaving thorny details for later.

EU to review animal welfare strategy

European Court of Auditors found there were "still some significant discrepancies between the animal welfare standards established in the EU legislation and the reality on the ground".

News in Brief

  1. US warns EU banks and firms against trading with Iran
  2. Merkel urged Romania not to move embassy to Jerusalem
  3. Protesters call for Czech leader to step down
  4. Former German chancellor labelled 'enemy' of Ukraine
  5. French lead opposition to Brexit deal on fisheries
  6. Private accounts of Danske Bank employees investigated
  7. UK's May defends Brexit deal to MPs, after ministers resign
  8. Brexit MP calls for 'no confidence' vote on May

Opinion

Crunch time to end overfishing in the EU

What happens when a difficult deadline hits? This is precisely what is being played out in EU fisheries as we approach the landmark legal commitment under the Common Fisheries Policy to end overfishing by 2020.

Opinion

No chance of meeting EU renewable goals if infrastructure neglected

Following the 2030 renewable target of 32 percent, chair of the European Parliament's environment committee Adina Valean argues in order to reach our climate and energy goals, we need both public and private investment over the next decade and beyond.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  5. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  6. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  7. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  8. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  9. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  10. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  12. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs

Latest News

  1. Brexit dominates EU affairs This WEEK
  2. How the EU commission got tunnel vision on self-driving cars
  3. No-confidence calls against May put Brexit deal in doubt
  4. Key points of the Brexit deal (if it ever comes into effect)
  5. Romania heaps scorn on 'revolting' EU criticism
  6. US steps in to clean up Cyprus
  7. 'Decisive progress' on Brexit as British cabinet backs deal
  8. Asylum for Macedonia's ex-PM puts Orban on spot

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us