EU Takes Decisive Step and Paris Agreement Likely to be Ratified Before US Election

The European Union environment ministers have today agreed to accelerate the ratification of the Paris Agreement on global climate change. The Paris Agreement comes into effect 30 days after 55 parties representing 55% of global emissions have ratified the deal. All member countries are pushing to have the Paris Agreement ratified and in force before the November 8, 2016 United States election. Article 28 of the Paris Agreement does not allow parties to withdraw from the agreement for a period of four years, essentially negating the possibility of a potential Trump presidency withdrawing the US from the Paris Agreement.

The European Parliament is expected to approve the decision in Strasbourg next Tuesday, October 4, 2016. This would permit the EU to ratify the Paris Agreement as soon as the following day.

To date, 61 countries representing 48% of global emissions have ratified the Paris Agreement. The EU represents 12% of global emissions. However, only seven EU countries (Germany, France, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, Portugal, and Malta), representing 4.6% of global emissions, have deposited their national ratification instruments. The EU's ratification would bring the global tally to 68 parties representing 52.6% of global emissions — just short of the required threshold. However, India, which represents 4.1% of global emissions, is widely anticipated to ratify the Paris Agreement on Monday, October 2, 2016. These decisive steps would likely bring the Paris Agreement into force on November 5, 2016 (30 days after 69 parties representing 56.7% of global emissions have ratified the Agreement and days before the US election).

Canada is expected to ratify the Paris Agreement before the start of the November 7, 2016 United Nations climate change negotiations in Morocco. If it fails to do so, it may not have an equal say on the decision-making related to the market mechanism and other rules to implement the Paris Agreement that are likely to be formulated in Morocco.

For further information, please contact Lisa DeMarco at

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