The EU and its member states are among the nearly 190 parties to the Paris Agreement. The EU formally ratified the agreement on 5 October 2016, allowing it to enter into force on 4 November 2016. In order for the agreement to enter into force, at least 55 countries representing at least 55% of global emissions had to file their ratification instruments. The agreement recognizes the role of non-partisan stakeholders in the fight against climate change, including cities, other sub-national authorities, civil society, the private sector and others. The Paris Agreement will enter into force on 4 November 2016, 30 days after reaching the minimum required number of ratifications. (The Paris Agreement, above; Paris Agreement (Dec 22, 2015), art. 21, No. 1, UNFCCC website. Article 218 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union defines the procedure for negotiating and concluding agreements between the EU and third countries or international organisations.
In particular, the Council of the EU, on the proposal of the European Commission, must take a decision authorising the conclusion of an agreement on behalf of the EU. (Consolidated version of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFUE), s. 218, No. 6, 2016 (C 202) 47.) Even before the signing of the Paris Agreement, the European Union played a crucial role in bringing together developed and developing countries, taking part in the Paris conference in December 2015 and approving the climate change agreement that emerged from the meeting. (How the EU Helped Build the Ambition Coalition (January 20, 2015), STORIFY.) At the time of the conference, the majority of participating states had already developed a document outlining their “planned national contributions” (INDC) to reducing greenhouse gas emissions for a period of five to ten years from 2020; these INDCs were presented at the conference. (Questions and answers on the Paris Agreement, EUROPA (the last visit took place on 5 October 2016).) The EU and its Member States were the first major economies to introduce INDCs, reflecting their commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030. (European Commission, Council decision proposal on the conclusion of the European Union Convention on the Un Convention on Climate Change, COM (2016) 395 final (10 June 2016), EUR-LEX.) On 30 September 2016, EU Council environment ministers approved the agreement at an extraordinary council meeting in Brussels. (Press release, European Commission, ministers approve EU ratification of the Paris Agreement, EUROPE (30 September 2016).) The Council also had to obtain the european Parliament`s compliant opinion, which was given on 4 October. On the same day, the Council adopted its final decision on the signing of the agreement, which is the final step in reaching agreements at EU level. (s. 218, No.
6 bis)) On 7 October 2016, the decision was paid to the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Eu ratification will come into force on the date the decision is tabled. (Press release, Consilium, Climate Change: Council adopts decision on EU ratification of the Paris Agreement, EUROPA (4 October 2016). The rules of the Paris Agreement contain detailed rules and guidelines for the implementation of the pioneering global agreement adopted in 2015, which covers all key areas, including transparency, finance, climate change and adaptation.