Germany and Saudi Arabia pledge to ratify Paris deal in 2016

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German chancellor hopes for quick parliamentary approval of nation's climate plan

Germany and Saudi Arabia have announced plans to ratify the Paris Agreement by the end of the year.

Speaking at the annual Petersberg Climate Dialogue in Berlin, German chancellor Angela Merkel said she hoped German states could quickly agree on the country's new climate plan, which is currently under consideration by the German parliament.

If the bill is approved by the German national parliament, the Bundestag, Germany will be able to conclude the ratification process before the next international climate change conference takes place in Morocco in November.

"We are entering in a new phase, where renewables will be the most important pillar of energy generation in Germany," said Merkel.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabian oil minister Khalid al-Falih reiterated that his country is "fully committed" to the COP21 deal, adding that it could formally join the Agreement ahead of the Marrakesh COP22 climate summit.

While the Paris deal has already been signed by the leaders of over 170 nations, it requires domestic ratification from 55 countries which account for at least 55 per cent of global emissions in order to be activated.

Germany must wait for all EU member states to formally ratify the deal before the bloc presents its instrument of ratification to the UN as a whole. However, ratification by Saudi Arabia – which accounts for just less than one per cent of global emissions – would be another significant step towards the deal coming into force.

Also speaking at the Petersberg Dialogue conference this week, India's environment minister Prakash Javadekar indicated that India has now begun the domestic process for ratifying the agreement.

"As far as the ratification is concerned, India has already started the process," he said. "Recently when our prime minister was in Washington, in a meeting with president Obama, he also emphasised that the process has to be at the earliest and we have already started working in that direction."

businessGreen, 11 July 2015