In a historic move, the European Union endorsed the Paris Agreement on climate change on Tuesday, the latest of many governing bodies to do so over the past several weeks.
This week, the world took the next significant step in global leadership and cooperation on climate change as India and the European Union join the more than 60 countries which have previously ratified the Paris climate agreement.
The internationally agreed Paris climate change agreement only comes into force legally once it is ratified by at least 55 countries, which between them produce 55 per cent of global carbon emissions.
With India's move, a total of 62 countries accounting for nearly 52 percent of emissions have now ratified the agreement to commit to take action to check the planet's rising temperatures.
All that remains now for the threshold to trigger the treaty to be reached is for the Council of Ministers to adopt the decision at a meeting tomorrow - a procedure that is expected to be a formality - and for the trading bloc to deposit its instrument of ratification with the United Nations on Friday.
Hailing the leadership of the European Union on addressing the challenges posed by climate change, including its role in the UN Framework Convention negotiations, support for the Green Climate Fund and other funding mechanisms, Mr. Ban highlighted that today offered them another opportunity to demonstrate their global climate leadership. "The political process for the European Union to ratify the Agreement is concluded", it said. "You now have an opportunity to make history by helping lead the world to a better future. let us show we are united".
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The Council still has to formally adopt the ratification, something that can be done in a written procedure taking less than a day. As of Sunday, when India formally turned in its paperwork, the totals stood at 62 countries producing about 52 percent of emissions. Within the EU, Germany, Hungary, France, Austria, Slovakia and Malta - collectively representing 4.39 percent of global emissions - have ratified individually. It becomes valid 30 days after being approved by 55 parties representing 55 percent of global emissions.
Environment ministers from member states will complete the EU's ratification process on Wednesday morning, after which the 28 member states will join the US, China and India in signing up to the global pact.
A global agreement on climate change is set to win enough ratifications by signatory nations this week to go into force in November, heralding a harder phase of turning promises into cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.
China, the usa and India ratified on 2 and 3 October.
Instead it says it will boost its use of "green energy" and reduce its emissions relative to its gross domestic product by up to 35 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels - meaning emissions will continue to grow but at a slower rate.