UN says 30 more coun­tries to rat­ify cli­mate deal

● Malta one of just four EU states to have rat­i­fied ac­cord

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

The 28-mem­ber Euro­pean Union could make a de­ci­sion on sign­ing the Paris agree­ment on cli­mate change with a meet­ing of en­vi­ron­ment min­is­ters on 30 Septem­ber fol­lowed by a 4 Oc­to­ber vote at the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment.

So far Aus­tria, France, Hun­gary and Malta are the only EU mem­bers to have rat­i­fied the ac­cord on their own.

France’s en­vi­ron­ment min­is­ter this week voiced op­ti­mism that the Paris global ac­cord on fight­ing cli­mate change will come into force by Novem­ber.

Se­go­lene Royal, who is pres­i­dent of the so-called COP21 con­fer­ence be­hind last year’s far-reach­ing agree­ment in Paris, said the goal was to put it in place be­fore the next meet­ing opens on 7 Novem­ber in Mar­rakesh, Morocco.

The an­nual United Na­tions Gen­eral Assem­bly was ex­pected to place the deal in fo­cus over ne­go­ti­a­tions yes­ter­day.

The agree­ment asks all coun­tries to de­velop plans to keep the planet from warm­ing more than two de­grees Cel­sius (3.6 Fahren­heit) above pre-in­dus­trial lev­els to avoid the worst ef­fects of cli­mate change.

To take ef­fect, at least 55 coun­tries that make up 55 per cent of global green­house-gas emis­sions must for­mally en­ter the agree­ment.

The Paris ac­cord re­ceived a ma­jor boost ear­lier this month when China and the United States – the two top emit­ters – both com­mit­ted to it dur­ing a sum­mit.

A to­tal of 28 par­ties that ac­count for 39 per cent of emis­sions have so far rat­i­fied the Paris ac­cord, ac­cord­ing to the UN Frame­work Con­ven­tion on Cli­mate Change.

Around 10 coun­tries have made prepa­ra­tions to sub­mit their rat­i­fi­ca­tion Wednes­day in­clud­ing Ar­gentina, Brazil, Mex­ico, Morocco and Ukraine, which would bring the level to 50 per cent.

Royal hoped that In­dia would rat­ify the agree­ment next month. The Euro­pean Union, which ac­counts for a lit­tle more than 12 per cent of emis­sions, could then seal it.

In all, 30 more coun­tries are ex­pected to for­mally join the Paris Agree­ment on cli­mate change this week, greatly im­prov­ing the pact’s chances of com­ing into force just a year af­ter it was ne­go­ti­ated in the French cap­i­tal, the United Na­tions said.

More than 170 world lead­ers have signed the deal, but it won’t take ef­fect un­til 55 coun­tries ac­count­ing for at least 55 per cent of global emis­sions have rat­i­fied or ac­cepted it through their do­mes­tic pro­ce­dures.

That was ini­tially ex­pected to take sev­eral years, but 28 coun­tries ac­count­ing for 39 per cent of emis­sions in­clud­ing the world’s two big­gest emit­ters, the United States and China, have al­ready rat­i­fied the deal.

The 30 rat­i­fi­ca­tions ex­pected to be handed to UN Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral Ban Ki-moon at a spe­cial event at the UN head­quar­ters in New York yes­ter­day would bring the to­tal to 58 coun­tries — but many are small and their to­tal emis­sions likely won’t reach the re­quired 55 per cent.

Brazil, Mex­ico and Ar­gentina are the largest emit­ters on the list an­nounced late Tues­day by the United Na­tions. But the 30 coun­tries will only bring the emis­sions to­tal to 47 per cent.

At least half a dozen small is­land na­tions in­clud­ing Pa­pua New Guinea, Tonga and Kiri­bati are ex­pected to rat­ify along with sev­eral coun­tries from Cen­tral Amer­ica, Africa, Asia and one from the Mideast — the United Arab Emi­rates.

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