On 30 September 2016, EU Council environment ministers approved the agreement at an extraordinary council meeting in Brussels. (Press release, European Commission, ministers approve EU ratification of the Paris Agreement, EUROPE (30 September 2016).) The Council also had to obtain the european Parliament`s compliant opinion, which was given on 4 October. On the same day, the Council adopted its final decision on the signing of the agreement, which is the final step in reaching agreements at EU level. (s. 218, No. 6 bis)) On 7 October 2016, the decision was paid to the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Eu ratification will come into force on the date the decision is tabled. (Press release, Consilium, Climate Change: Council adopts decision on EU ratification of the Paris Agreement, EUROPA (4 October 2016). The Paris Agreement, adopted in December 2015, contains a global action plan to address climate change, in order to avoid dangerous climate change, by limiting global warming to a level well below pre-industrial levels and by making efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius. It came into force on November 4, 2016. 195 parties to the UNFCCC signed the agreement and 184 ratified it. The Paris Agreement is a `mixed` agreement because its purpose is the environment, which falls within the competence of the EU and its Member States, and must therefore be ratified several times by EU Member States, in accordance with their individual constitutional requirements.
In cases where the EU has exclusive powers, only the EU has the power to negotiate and conclude an agreement. (TFUE, art. 3-4, on the division of skills.) So far, Austria, France, Germany, Hungary, Malta, Portugal and Slovakia have tabled their ratification instruments. (Paris Agreement – ratification status, UNFCCC site (the last visit took place on 11 October 2016).) The rules of the Paris Agreement contain detailed rules and guidelines for the implementation of the pioneering global agreement adopted in 2015, which covers all key areas, including transparency, finance, climate change and adaptation. Even before the signing of the Paris Agreement, the European Union played a crucial role in bringing together developed and developing countries, taking part in the Paris conference in December 2015 and approving the climate change agreement that emerged from the meeting. (How the EU Helped Build the Ambition Coalition (January 20, 2015), STORIFY.) At the time of the conference, the majority of participating states had already developed a document outlining their “planned national contributions” (INDC) to reducing greenhouse gas emissions for a period of five to ten years from 2020; these INDCs were presented at the conference.