MEPs urge EU to ratify Paris treaty

9th September 2016

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  • Politics & Economics ,
  • EU


Peter Walters

The EU should ratify the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change and all member states should do the same, the European parliament's environment committee has urged.

The recommendation to ratify the agreement was agreed overwhelmingly, by 47 votes to one. The committee’s endorsement will add to pressure on the EU and member states to ratify the Paris deal ahead of the next COP meeting taking place in Marrakech in November.

Committee chair Giovanni La Via said: ‘It is unthinkable that the Paris agreement might enter into force without the EU as a signatory, considering the EU leadership on the fight against climate change, its role in the Kyoto protocol, and its continuous efforts towards a subsequent universal treaty.’

In a separate resolution, MEPs raised concerns that the sum of all the nationally determined contributions (NDCs) submitted to the UNFCCC does not bring the world close to the 2°C target. They called on all countries to raise their emission reduction commitments.

MEPs also urged the EU to commit to further emission reductions for 2030, and to prepare a mid-century zero emissions strategy, including a cost-efficient pathway towards reaching the net zero emissions goal adopted in Paris.

Lower emissions targets from international aviation and shipping should also be set before the end of 2016, following discussions with the International Civil Aviation Organization and the International Maritime Organisation, the MEPs said

On Brexit, a separate amendment tabled by British MEPs, and endorsed by the committee called on the EU to ‘uphold the commitments agreed in Paris in spite of any changes of status of EU member states’. It also urged the UK to retain its participation in the EU carbon market.

In her first PMQs since the summer recess, the prime minister Theresa May told the UK parliament: ‘I'm happy to give assurance that we will indeed be ratifying the Paris agreement.’

However, the government has yet to announce a date or whether it will continue as a signatory to the EU ratification process.


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