Climate Change News

Europe to Push Paris Climate Accord over Brink to Take Effect

Enough member states in the European Union have already individually ratified the agreement to meet the emissions requirement for the agreement to go into force.


The European Parliament yesterday approved ratification of the Paris climate accord by the European Union (EU). The action promises to push the accord soon over the threshold needed for the agreement to go into force: ratification by at least 55 countries that contribute at least 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

After the EU deposits its ratification document with the United Nations (UN)—a step the body is expected to do later this week, according to—the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change’s Paris Agreement will come into force 30 days later. That’s soon enough for the agreement to take effect by the time nations meet again in Morocco on 7 November for the next international climate change meeting, the first to follow the historic meeting in Paris last year at which the accord was reached.

Prior to the EU action yesterday, 63 parties, which produce 52.11% of global emissions, had ratified the Paris agreement. Although the 28 EU nations must also individually ratify the agreement to be parties to it, a quarter of them have already done so, reported. These nations represent more than 4% of global emissions, so enough EU member states have already given the agreement the nod for it to go into effect as soon as the formal document deposit and 30-day period are done.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told a press conference after the EU ratification that “with the action taken by the European Parliament, I’m confident we’ll be able to cross the 55 percent threshold very soon, in just a matter of a few days.”

Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore celebrated yesterday’s step by the EU with a tweet Tuesday: “Today, the EU voted to ratify the #ParisAgreement turning our climate hope into climate action. Now, together, we must get to work!”

—Peter L. Weiss, Senior News Editor

Citation: Weiss, P. L. (2016), Europe to push Paris climate accord over brink to take effect, Eos, 97, doi:10.1029/2016EO060463. Published on 05 October 2016.
© 2016. The authors. CC BY-NC-ND 3.0
  • Bart_R

    It turns out Canada put the Paris Accord over the top, with its hefty 2% of the world’s fossil CO2 emissions.

    Canada has also announced a $50/ton national price on fossil carbon by 2022, modeled largely on the BC Revenue Neutral Carbon Tax Act (2008), currently at $30/ton.

    And if we can get up to a $300/ton price, and actually start transition to a carbon negative world economy, won’t that be a good thing?