Poland Secures Coal Conditions As EU Approves Paris Climate Agreement

  • Date: 01/10/16
  • Reuters

 “Polish interests have been secured and agreement has been reached,” said Pavel Mucha, a spokesman for Poland’s Environment Ministry.

European Union states agreed on Friday on a fast-track, joint ratification of the Paris accord to combat climate change, securing the deal enough backing to enter into force this year and guide a radical shift of the world economy away from fossil fuels.

The agreement by environment ministers from all 28 member states is a rare political breakthrough for the EU at a time of discord over the migration crisis and uncertainty after Britain’s vote to leave the bloc.

“All member states greenlight early EU ratification of Paris Agreement: What some believed impossible is now real,” tweeted European Council President Donald Tusk, whose home country Poland had been the main state resisting such a swift accord.

The decision by the EU, which accounts for about 12 percent of global emissions, will have to be approved by the European Parliament next week. And that in turn has to be approved by ministers.

To take effect, the Paris Agreement needs formal ratification by 55 countries that account for 55 percent of global emissions. Once it reaches that threshold, it will enter into force after 30 days.

Cementing the accord before the U.S. presidential election on Nov. 8 would make it harder to unravel if Republican Donald Trump, who has opposed it, wins that vote.

So far, 61 nations representing 47.8 percent of emissions have ratified, led by China and the United States. India, with 4 percent, is set to ratify on Sunday and the EU ratification would push it over the line.

POLAND SATISFIED

Poland sought concessions for its coal-fired economy ahead of Friday’s special gathering, so EU environment ministers found a way to break with normal procedure and lock collectively into the Paris accord.

“Polish interests have been secured and agreement has been reached,” said Pavel Mucha, a spokesman for Poland’s Environment Ministry. He did not give details.

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