The European Union endorsed the Paris Agreement on climate change on Tuesday, making the agreement valid, as it was speculated on Monday.

The move occurred two days after India ratified the accord. The Paris Agreement will enter into force a month after the EU submits its ratification documents on Friday.

Critics of the agreement decry its lack of binding commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that can be enforced through international law. Image Credit: Dickinson Global Climate Change Delegation.

The ratification of the Paris Agreement

The entering into force of the accord will be quicker than the drafters believed it to be. Experts argue this has much to do with the world’s shift in priorities. Right now, climate change is a the top of most world leaders agendas.

This agreement will be the first to attack curb emissions. It was necessary that enough states, representing the equivalent to fifty-five percent of global emissions ratified the accord for it to enter into force. China and the United States, the world’s largest polluters, completed the ratification process back in September.

India accounts for more than four percent of the total global emissions, so its ratification was crucial in advancing the cause. Finally, the European Union, whose member states account for twelve percent of the global emissions, was the last push needed, so the could accord enter into force.

Seven members had already ratified the agreement independently.  The EU had stated that it was probable it would be able to ratify the accord until 2017.

According to Miguel Arias Cañete, EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, the organization had declared that Europe was “too complicated” to swiftly agree to ratify the accord since they had “many jumps” to surpass first.

However, the EU quickly approved the plan with 610 votes in favor, 38 against and with 31 abstentions. UN General-Secretary Ban Ki-Moon oversaw the vote and has stated the ratification is a “historic” process.

“With the action taken by the EU Parliament, I am confident that we will be able to cross 55 percent threshold very soon, in just a matter of a few days. You now have an opportunity to make history by helping lead the world to a better future… let us show we are united,” said Ki-Moon.

The Paris Agreement and the Obama administration

The accord’s main objective is to cut greenhouse gas emissions. This will be achieved by moving away from fossil fuels and backing renewable energy sources. The efforts are supposed to limit the Earth’s warming to under two degrees Celsius, the same temperature that the planet used to have before the industrial revolution, something various scientists have stated is not possible.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration had been trying to have the agreement completely ratified before Barack Obama leaves offices, as a way to secure the United States involvement with it. Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton have previously backed up the agreement, while Republican nominee Donald Trump is against it.

Trump has threatened in the past to pull out the U.S. from the accord. He has also stated that climate change has nothing to do with men and that it was a plot to make the U.S. less competitive against other markets.

Sources: The Christian Science Monitor