Ratification of the Paris climate agreement by the European Union is given the green light. The completion of the process was supported today by environment ministers

Ratification of the Paris climate agreement by the European Union is given the green light. The completion of the process was supported today by environment ministers

The Environment Council today adopted a decision on concluding the Paris Agreement on behalf of the European Union. The ministers also endorsed the position of the EU at the meeting of the parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, which will take place on 7 - 18 November 2016 in Morocco.

The theme of the extraordinary session of the Environment Council was the international negotiation process on climate protection. The Paris Agreement was adopted by the contracting parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in December 2015 in Paris. The agreement should, after it enters into force, replace the current Kyoto Protocol. For its validity it is necessary, however, that it is ratified by at least 55 of the contracting parties to the Framework Convention, whose share in global greenhouse gas emissions amounts to at least 55%. The Environment Council today approved the ratification of the Paris Agreement on behalf of the European Union.

"The Czech Republic welcomes the completion of the ratification process of the Paris Agreement on behalf of the EU. Thanks to the intensive efforts of the EU Member States and of a number of other countries in the world, it is likely that the agreement will enter into force still this year, and the first meeting of the parties to the agreement will take place already at the conference in Morocco. It is essential that the European Union is involved in these important negotiations from the outset and participates in the decision making on important rules for the implementation of the Paris Agreement. Today's decision of the Environment Council will enable the EU not to remain only as an observer," says Vladislav Smrž, the Deputy Minister of the Environment who represented the Czech Republic at the meeting, summarising the benefits of the ratification.

As the Paris Agreement includes matters falling within the competence of the EU as well as of its Member States, it must be ratified not only at the EU level, but also by each individual EU Member State. "The Czech Republic expects the national ratification process to be completed next spring. The consent was granted by the Czech government last week, the agreement will now be referred to the Parliament for approval and then to the President for signature," says Deputy Smrž.

The Environment Council today also approved a position with which the EU and its Member States will go to the upcoming climate conference in Morocco. Apart from the objectives of the Paris Agreement the Council conclusions specify issues of implementation at the EU level. They confirm the reduction commitment of the EU arising from the approved framework in the field of climate and energy by 2030 and are mainly concerned with the specific outputs of the conference in Morocco in the area of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, adaptation to climate change, financing of climate protection measures or the mechanism of evaluating the individual commitments to be fulfilled by the contracting parties.

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