The European Union has ratified the Paris Agreement. Fifty-five countries representing 55% of emissions puts the Paris Agreement into effect in the next 30 days.
The Paris Agreement aims to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels—an ambitious but necessary target. The agreement is working to limit greenhouse gas emissions by shifting the world economy to renewable energy.
The EU parliament will formally endorse the Paris Agreement today in France after a deal on Tuesday which will allow national ministers to ratify the agreement on behalf of the EU. The EU’s ratification comes as a surprise for some—previously the EU stated they would not be ready to discuss ratification until 2017. However, with 610 votes in favor, 38 against and 31 abstentions at the European Parliament, ratification will go forward.
Over the past couple months, big players such as the United States, China, India, and Brazil signed onto the historic agreement, pressuring other nations to do so as well. The EU’s contribution will push the needed 55% of emissions to 57% of emissions. It could be higher if Japan and Canada ratify the agreement ahead of schedule.
The UNFCCC’s COP22 negotiations could be the stage of the first official meeting of parties to the Paris Agreement. The yearly negotiation—which produced the Paris Agreement last December—will take place this November in Marrakesh, Morocco.