Poland Said to Accelerate National Ratification of Paris Accord

  • Government said to approve national ratification of agreement
  • Parliament said likely to decide on approval next week

Poland may finalize ratification of the Paris climate deal next week after lawmakers accelerated steps that could help bring the sweeping accord combating climate change into effect by the end of the year.

The cabinet of ministers gave the green light for the domestic approval on Thursday, according to a government official with knowledge of the matter. The measure now needs consent from Poland’s parliament, which may discuss ratification next week, according to the official, who asked not to be identified. The Polish president would then need to sign the motion for it to pass.

Speeding ratification may give Poland leverage in negotiations with other European Union member states on Friday at an extraordinary meeting of environment ministers. They are due to discuss fast-track approval of the Paris deal at the EU level, a route that would enable the bloc to join the agreement next week, before many of its 28-member states individually ratify. Poland had said it was ready to endorse the EU solution only after securing its national interests regarding European climate policy.

Environment ministers are scheduled to gather in Brussels at 9:30 a.m. local time tomorrow. Should they approve the fast-track union-level procedure, the European Parliament would vote on the measure Oct. 4 during a plenary session in Strasbourg, France. That would enable the EU to submit its ratification to the UN climate body before Oct. 7.

Rising Pressure

The date matters because the climate deal will be enacted 30 days after its ratification requirements -- approval by at least 55 parties accounting for 55 percent of global emissions -- have been met. If they’re reached at the beginning of next month, the first meeting of the parties to the agreement, the so-called CMA, could take place during the next annual United Nations climate conference, scheduled to start in Morocco Nov. 7.

So far 61 parties responsible for almost 48 percent of pollution have approved the accord. Pressure increased on the EU, which wants to lead the global fight against climate change, after U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping ratified the deal Sept. 3.

India, accounting for 4.1 percent of global emissions, plans to approve the agreement on Oct. 2. A fast-track ratification by the EU, which accounts for 12 percent of global emissions, could top the 55 percent requirement. Poland is responsible for about 1.1 percent of global greenhouse-gas emissions.

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