UN says 30 more countries to ratify climate deal
● Malta one of just four EU states to have ratified accord
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.