In June, the Commission published a proposal for a Council decision that marks the beginning of ratification of the agreement on behalf of the EU. This decision is adopted by the Environment Council and the European Parliament must give its approval. 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). Almost all Member States are either ratifying the agreement or preparing the documents for the start of the process so that it can be finalised as soon as possible. Even Poland, which is involved in the ratification of past agreements, has expressed its willingness to ratify this time. However, EU diplomats were not disappointed by the Council`s result and even welcomed the fact that Member States had agreed before the Cop25 in Chile, which was the main objective of the meeting.
On October 5, 2016, when the agreement reached enough signatures to cross the threshold, U.S. President Barack Obama said, “Even if we achieve all the goals… we will only get to part of where we need to go. He also said that “this agreement will help delay or avoid some of the worst consequences of climate change.” It will help other nations reduce their emissions over time and set bolder goals as technology progresses, all under a strong transparency system that will allow each nation to assess the progress of all other nations.   These objectives at the state level are more than just a formality. The Paris Agreement stipulates that states, even if they act together, must inform the UN of the emission levels allocated individually to each country. The country is then responsible for its own objective. To contribute to the goals of the agreement, countries presented comprehensive national climate change plans (national fixed contributions, NDC). These are not yet sufficient to meet the agreed temperature targets, but the agreement points to the way forward for further measures. Representatives of the Presidency of the Council and the European Commission have tabled the official ratification documents with the SECRETARy-general of the United Nations, who is the custodian of the agreement.
The Paris Agreement aims to limit global warming to a level well below 2 degrees Celsius and limit its efforts to 1.5 degrees Celsius in order to avoid the disastrous consequences of climate change.