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EU looks for speedy ratification of Paris climate deal

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EU looks for speedy ratification of Paris climate deal

Photo Liam Gumley, Space Science and Engineering Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison

(BRUSSELS) - The EU Commission presented a proposal Friday for the European Union's quick ratification of the Paris Agreement -  the world's first universal, legally binding deal to tackle climate change.

The EU is determined to maintain the momentum and spirit of Paris and ensure early ratification and swift implementation of the historic agreement, says Climate and Energy Vommissioner Miguel Arias Canete: "Today's proposal demonstrates our continued commitment to lead the global clean energy transition and build a modern, sustainable and more climate-friendly economy. I am confident that the European Parliament, Council and Member States will complete the respective ratification procedures promptly."

The proposal was generally welcomed by environmental groups, but the WWF reiterated a call for increased climate ambition at EU level. "Ratification without increasing EU policy ambition to reflect the Agreement's content is like trying to climb a mountain in flip flops. It puts Europe at risk of suffering even more from the impacts of climate change in future," said Imke Luebbeke, Head of Climate and Energy at WWF European Policy Office.

The Paris Agreement, adopted on 12 December 2015, is a global milestone for enhancing collective action and accelerating the global transformation to a low-carbon and climate-resilient society. It sets out a long-term emissions reduction goal of keeping the global temperature increase well below 2°C while pursuing efforts to limit the rise to 1.5°C.

The Agreement enters into force after it has been ratified by 55 countries, accounting for at least 55% of global emissions.

The Commission says it intends to propose in the coming months the Member State targets to reduce emissions in those sectors not covered by the Emissions Trading System, such as transport, agriculture and buildings.

The EU executive will also propose how to integrate land use into the 2030 framework and a communication on low-carbon mobility.

The Commission says its proposals this summer, together with a revision of the Emissions Trading System, will deliver the remaining EU commitments under the Paris Agreement.

Paris Agreement on climate change

European Commission assessment of the Paris Agreement

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