PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTRY FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, THE ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE: The Maltese Government amongst the first Member States to finalise its domestic preparations for the Ratification of the Paris Agreement

Minister for Sustainable Development, the Environment and Climate Change Jose Herrera attended an extraordinary Environment Council Meeting today in Brussels which was exclusively dedicated to climate issues.

The Council discussed the ratification of the Paris Agreement, the global agreement on climate change adopted in Paris in December 2015. Minister Herrera informed the Council that the Maltese Government has finalised its domestic preparations for the Ratification of the Paris Agreement. Malta therefore is one of the first Member States together with France, Hungary, Austria and Slovakia who has so far completed its national procedures of ratification.

The Paris Agreement is a mixed agreement, which means that some of the issues it covers are the responsibility of the EU and others of its Member States. It therefore has to be ratified by both the EU and all 28 Member States.

The agreement will enter into force 30 days after ratification by at least 55 countries accounting for at least 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions. So far, 61 parties have ratified, accounting for 47.79% of global emissions. It is very likely that this threshold will be attained in time for its entry into force by the beginning of the Marrakesh Climate Change Conference. The first meeting of the parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA) could therefore be convened during the conference.

During today’s Council Meeting, ministers agreed on the conclusions of the Paris Agreement on behalf of the EU. This will allow the Council, once it has obtained the consent of the European Parliament, to adopt a Council decision on the EU’s ratification of the Agreement in October 2016.

The ministers also adopted Council conclusions on the preparations for the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference, which is to take place in Marrakesh, Morocco, from 7 to 18 November 2016 (COP22).

At the end of the extraordinary Environment Council Meeting, Minister Herrera as the upcoming President of the Environment Council, had a meeting with the Finnish Minister for the Environment and Agriculture Kimmo Tiilikainen whereby they discussed issues related to climate change, which will be one of the priorities of the Maltese Presidency which will be held next year.

Source: Government of Malta.