The European Parliament should give its consent to the ratification of the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change, according to the Environment Committee MEPs.

On September 8, the MEPs urged all EU member states to conclude the ratification process, to ensure its rapid entry into force. In a separate resolution, they also called on the EU to upgrade its emission reduction pledges, so as to close the gap between the individual targets agreed by the Parties and the Paris goals.

Giovanni La Via (EPP, IT), rapporteur and Environment Committee chairman, said: “It is unthinkable that the Paris Agreement might enter into force without the EU as a signatory, considering the EU leadership on the fight against climate change, its role in the Kyoto Protocol, and its continuous efforts towards a subsequent universal treaty. For this reason, we urge the Council and the individual member states to take the necessary steps to complete their EU and national ratification process prior to the next climate conference in Marrakech, enabling it to enter into force.”

In a separate resolution, on the next round of talks to take place in Marrakech in November, MEPs said they regret that the sum of all the submitted Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) submitted “does not bring the world even close to the two degree target”. They also stressed the urgent need for  all parties to raise their emission reduction commitments. The EU should also commit to further emission reductions for 2030, they said.

According to a European Parliament press release, the MEPs said the EU should also revisit its own mid- and long-term goals and policy instruments, and call upon the Commission to “prepare a mid-century zero emissions strategy for the EU, providing a cost-efficient pathway towards reaching the net zero emissions goal adopted in the Paris agreement”.

The recommendation that parliament consents to the conclusion of the agreement was approved 47 votes to 1. The full European Parliament can vote and give its consent to the Paris Agreement only when an agreement is reached at the Council.

The Paris Agreement will enter into force on the 30th day after the date on which at least 55 parties to the Convention, accounting in total for at least 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions, have deposited their instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession at the UN. As of September 7, 27 Parties have deposited their instruments of ratification at the UN, accounting in total for 39.08 % of the total global greenhouse gas emissions.