UN Says EU May Ratify Paris Agreement Soon

UN officials say that the Paris climate agreement looks likely to enter into force in short order, with India expected to join the agreement on Sunday, and the EU signaling that it may join in the next few days, The Washington Post reports.

The Paris Agreement may be on the cusp of entry into legal force according to officials at the United Nations, The Washington Post reports. India, which represents 4.5% of the world’s emissions is expected to ratify the climate accord on Sunday, and UN officials report that the European Union has also signaled that it may join the agreement in the coming days.

“We’ve heard that the European Union may deposit its ratification instruments with us much sooner than we had expected, which would be tremendous news because that would put us over the top in terms of the percentage of emissions, because we’re already there in terms of the number of countries needed,” U.N. Spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Wednesday.

For entry into force, the Paris Agreement must be joined by at least 55 countries representing at least 55% of the world’s emissions. The agreement has already met the first of these two thresholds, as it has been joined by more than 60 countries. Participation from these India and the EU will push the agreement over the second of the two thresholds needed for entry into force — joining on by countries representing at least 55% of the world’s emissions. Currently, the agreement has been joined by countries representing 48% of global emissions, but India’s 4.5% and the EU’s 12% would push the Paris Agreement well over the final threshold for entry into force.

Should the Paris Agreement meet these requirements before October 7, the next U.N. climate conference, scheduled to take place in Marrakech starting November 7, would kick off with the agreement already in force, something Dujarric said “would send a very strong signal to the rest of the world.”

While a few members of the European Union have already joined the Paris Agreement separately, EU rules require that the coalition members deposit their ratifications as a bloc when all 28 members have approved the accord.

Image: Miguel Arias Cañete (left), European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, briefs the media at the press conference entitled “High Ambition Coalition: Climate Change” | Image Credit: UN Photo/JC McIlwaine

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