Environment ministers from all 28 European Union states agreed to fast-track the collective ratification of the Paris agreement on climate change on Friday.
The deal, agreed by 195 countries in Paris in December 2015, has been designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and stem the earth’s rising temperature.
The EU ratification is a key milestone as the agreement only takes effect once at least 55 nations making up 55 per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions ratify it. This agreement short-cuts 28 separate ratification processes which could individually hit roadblocks, such as Poland’s demands for more guarantees for its coal-fired economy.
— La France dans l'UE (@RPFranceUE) 30 Eyll 2016
"All member states greenlight early EU ratification of Paris Agreement. What some believed impossible is now real," European Council President Donald Tusk said on Twitter.
The landmark agreement will come into effect with the approval of the European Parliament in the coming week before the actual ratification of the Union.
"Once approved by the European Parliament next week, the EU will be able to deposit its ratification instrument," the European Commission said in a statement.
— EU Climate Action (@EUClimateAction) September 30, 2016
Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said, "The European Union delivers on promises made [...] The member states decided to make history together and bring closer the entry into force of the first ever universally binding climate change agreement."