EU nations approve ratification of climate change pact

FILE - In this Dec. 12, 2015, file photo, French President Francois Hollande, right, French Foreign Minister and president of the COP21 Laurent Fabius, second right, United Nations climate chief Christiana Figueres, left, and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon hold their hands up in celebration after the final conference at the COP21, the United Nations conference on climate change, in Le Bourget, north of Paris. A team of top scientists are telling world leaders to stop congratulating themselves for a Paris agreement to fight climate change because if more isn’t done the world will likely hit the agreed-upon dangerous warming level in about 35 years. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)

BRUSSELS - European Union environment ministers have approved the ratification of the landmark Paris climate change pact, paving the way for the agreement to enter force in November.

French Environment Minister Segolene Royal on Friday tweeted "Victory!" and said that the ministers had agreed unanimously to ratify the agreement at talks in Brussels.

The European Parliament is expected to approve the move next week.

More than 170 world leaders have signed the deal, but it won't take effect until 55 countries, accounting for at least 55 per cent of global emissions, have ratified or accepted it through their domestic procedures.

Sixty-one parties have already ratified it but they only account for 48 per cent of emissions.

The EU's ratification would take the Paris Agreement past the 55 per cent threshold.

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