James Crisp. Freelance journalist in Brussels.

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EU overcomes sovereignty fears to secure deal on climate change

The European Union today (30 September) overcame fears over parliamentary sovereignty to secure a fast-track deal paving the way for the bloc to ratify the Paris Agreement on climate change.

The deal between environment ministers at an emergency meeting will allow the EU to ratify the Paris Agreement, without every member state having previously ratified it at national level.

Without it, the bloc would have missed a 7 October deadline and suffered damage to its reputation as a climate change leader.

“They said Europe is too complicated to agree quickly. They said we had too many hoops to jump through. They said we were all talk,” said jubilant Climate Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete.

“We are reaching a critical period for decisive climate action. And when the going gets tough, Europe gets going.”

Slovakia, which holds the rotating Presidency of the EU, has identified 7 October as the target date for the EU to formally ratify the agreement.

It called today’s extraordinary meeting of environment ministers in a desperate bid to get member states to back the fast-track deal ahead of a planned European Parliament ratification vote to be held in Strasbourg on Tuesday (4 October).

The deal was secured with language stressing the European Council’s guiding role. There was further wrangling to secure language in the conclusions that stressed the fast-track deal was a one-off for the Paris Agreement and was not going over the head of national parliaments.

There were further concerns that the EU ratification taking place before all governments had formally ratified the Agreement could set a precedent for other international deals, such as TTIP, the draft EU-US free trade agreement.

>>Read: Whole story on EurActiv

>>Read: The Brief: Sometimes the EU works

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This entry was posted on October 1, 2016 by in Climate Change, Energy, Journalism and tagged , , .

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