Paris climate accord set to go into force in Nov., with EU to join

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BRUSSELS. KAZINFORM - A landmark global climate agreement is on course to go into force in early November as the European Union agreed Friday to join other major emitters in ratifying the so-called Paris accord by early October, Kyodo reports.

The latest development came as the environment ministers of the European Union -- the world's third-largest emitter of carbon dioxide -- decided to resort to a special measure to swiftly ratify the accord without waiting for all 28 member states to finish their domestic ratification procedures.

The Paris Agreement's entry into force would come after nearly 200 nations agreed at a U.N. conference on climate change in Paris last December to create a long-sought framework to involve every country in reining in greenhouse gas emissions.

The accord will enter into force following the ratification by at least 55 nations accounting for an estimated 55 percent of global emissions. China and the United States, which are the world's largest and second-largest emitters, have already ratified the agreement, and India, another major emitter, is likely to take the step by Sunday.

The European Union, meanwhile, is expected to ratify the agreement by Oct. 7 after securing approval of the European Parliament in a plenary session that is set to be held from Monday to Thursday.

The European Union's decision to seek a shortcut over the ratification signals its eagerness to continue to lead global efforts to tackle climate change. Falling behind other major emitters in the ratification may have tarnished its reputation, observers say.

The Paris Agreement, negotiated to make efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions legally binding, aims to hold the global temperature rise to "well below" 2 C above preindustrial levels to avert more serious impacts from climate change.

All countries are obligated to set their own emissions reduction targets and take domestic measures accordingly. They are also expected to provide progressively more ambitious targets every five years, while there is no penalty for those missing their goals.

The new agreement also includes a long-term goal to effectively reduce net greenhouse gas emissions to zero in the second half of this century.

Currently, 61 countries accounting for 47.79 percent of total global greenhouse gas emissions have ratified the accord, according to the secretariat of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Japan, the world's sixth-largest emitter, has yet to ratify the agreement, but it could feel pressure to follow suit after the European Union's latest decision, experts say.

Source: Kyodo

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