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News, 10/3/2016

EU Ministers agree to fast-track ratification of Paris agreement

Photo: European Commission
Paris Ratification (Photo European Commission)

EU Ministers for the Environment agreed to speed up the process for the ratification of Paris agreement during an extraordinary Environment Council meeting on 30 September 2016 in Brussels. Agreement to fast-track the EU’s ratification of the global climate deal was met with a round of applause at the Council.

The European Parliament is yet to vote on the Council's proposition on 4 September. Once the Parliament has given its consent, the EU will be able to deposit the ratification instrument to the United Nations Secretary-General by 7 October. This would ensure that the agreement will enter into force just in time for the start of the Marrakesh UN climate change conference (COP-22) on 7 November.

Kimmo Tiilikainen, Finnish Minister for the Environment and Agriculture represented Finland at the Council meeting.

"The EU is committed to ambitious goals in order to reduce emissions and has played a pioneering role in climate policy. Reaching agreement on an accelerated ratification of the Climate Agreement was important. This ensures the EU’s full participation as a party to the agreement in the Marrakesh climate negotiations", Tiilikainen says.

The Paris Agreement will enter into force 30 days after the date on which at least 55 countries, accounting for the minimum of 55 % of global greenhouse gas emissions, have ratified it. So far 62 parties have joined the treaty, representing 51.89 % of the world's greenhouse gas emissions. Out of the largest industrial countries and producers of emissions, China and the United States ratified the agreement already in September and India joined in on 2 October.

In Finland the preparations of the government proposal for the national ratification of the Paris agreement are well underway.

"We carried out an extensive consultation on the treaty in February before Finland signed the agreement. The government proposal is to be presented to the Parliament in October. I am hopeful that the parliament will reach an agreement in time so that Finland will finish the ratification before the meeting in Marrakesh", the Minister says.

For more information:

Chief negotiator for climate change Outi Honkatukia, Ministry of the Environment, tel 050 341 1758,

Counsellor for environment and climate change Marjo Nummelin, Ministry of the Environment, tel 040 523 3710,

Communications Specialist Jussi Palmén, Ministry of the Environment, tel 050 532 2278, (interview requests for Minister Tiilikainen)

Ministry of the Environment

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Updated 10/6/2016

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