Speaking from Strasbourg yesterday (4 October) David Martin MEP welcomed a European Parliament vote to ratify the ground-breaking agreement on climate change known as the Paris Agreement, tipping it over the threshold needed for the global deal to enter into force.
The COP21 Climate Conference in Paris last year was the international political response to climate change that began at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992. The vote in Strasbourg yesterday, in the presence of the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, brought the deal over the threshold of 55 parties accounting for 55% of global emissions needed for it to enter into force.
The European Parliament has been at the forefront of the global response to climate change, passing new legislation to help curb greenhouse gas emissions and steer the EU towards low-carbon energy less dependent on fossil fuel imports. Following this vote this first-ever universal, legally binding global climate deal can now come into force.
“I am thrilled that with this vote in the European Parliament the agreement of keeping global warming below the critical threshold of 2 °C by 2020 can now enter into force” enthused Mr Martin.
“It is not an easy target and will take a considerable reduction in emissions, especially from the largest emitters such as the United States and China, as well as commitments to sustainable development for poorer countries, which must be financed by our wealthier nations.
“I believe the vote demonstrates the value of cooperation and tackling issues together in order to find solutions to global problems.
“Although pleased at the large majority that supported the ratification, I was disappointed and somewhat bewildered that a small minority, all from the far right and including 20 from the group led by Nigel Farage, voted against the historic agreement.”
The European Union accounts for 12 % of global greenhouse gas emissions. Seven EU member countries have already completed their national domestic processes in order to comply with the agreement. These are Hungary, France, Slovakia, Austria, Malta, Portugal and Germany.