* European Parliament backs accord to fight climate change
* Ratification expected to be with U.N. by Friday
* Rare political "win" amid Brexit, migration discord
By Foo Yun Chee
STRASBOURG, Oct 4 The European Parliament backed
the Paris accord to fight climate change on Tuesday, the EU
executive said, tipping it over the threshold needed for the
global deal to enter into force.
The Paris Agreement, backed by nearly 200 nations nearly one
year ago, will help guide a radical shift of the world economy
away from fossil fuels in an effort to limit heat waves, floods,
droughts and rising sea levels.
European Climate Commissioner Miguel Arias Canteen said the
milestone heralded a harder phase of turning promises into cuts
in greenhouse gas emissions.
"Our collective task is to turn our commitments into action
on the ground," he said in a statement.
European Union approval, expected to be signed off on by the
bloc's 28 nations this week, pushes the deal over the required
threshold of nations representing at least 55 percent of global
emissions to enter into force.
Ratification by the EU, which accounts for about 12 percent
of global emissions, is expected to be deposited with the United
Nations by Friday.
China and the United States, the top emitters, ratified the
pact this month.
It also marked a rare show of unity by a bloc divided over
Britain's vote to leave the EU, migration and the economy. EU
leaders agreed a legislative shortcut to fast-track approval of
the Paris accord to avoid lagging behind other nations in
backing the global pact it championed.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said:
"Today we continued to show leadership and prove that together
the European Union can deliver."
The accord aims to slash greenhouse gas emissions by
shifting away from fossil fuels to limit global warming to "well
below" two degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) compared to
Once ratification is deposited with the United Nations, the
accord enters into force 30 days later, early enough for it to
be locked into place ahead of the next round of climate talks in
November in Morocco.
Cementing the accord before the U.S. presidential election
on Nov. 8 would make it harder to challenge if Republican Donald
Trump, who has opposed it, beats Democrat Hillary Clinton, a
So far, 62 nations accounting for almost 52 percent of
global emissions have ratified. Within the EU, Germany, Hungary,
France, Austria, Slovakia and Malta - collectively representing
4.39 percent of global emissions - have ratified individually.
(Additional reporting by Alissa de Carbonnel; Editing by Janet