* Shortcut would allow European Union to ratify next week
* Rare political "win" sought amid Brexit, migration discord
* Polish objections had cast doubt on speedy ratification
* But Warsaw now hints parliament will sign off shortly
(Adds Polish comments, details on agreement)
By Alissa de Carbonnel
BRUSSELS, Sept 30 European Union states aimed on
Friday to agree a shortcut to ratify the Paris climate deal and
trigger its entry into force next week, keen for a rare
political breakthrough at a time of discord over migration and
Britain's vote to leave the bloc.
Faced with the embarrassing prospect of being left out when
the pact to curb global warming that they had championed takes
effect, EU leaders - at a summit held earlier this month in
Bratislava - hatched the plan to bypass lengthy ratifications by
each of the 28 member states.
When France raised doubts over an individual ratification
process so sluggish that the head of the EU executive described
it as "ridiculous", it was agreed "that the EU cannot just talk,
but also has to deliver on its promises", a bloc official said.
"We need a win... We need some good news," an EU diplomat
Poland sought concessions for its coal-fired economy ahead
of Friday's special gathering, so EU environment ministers were
aiming for a way to break with normal procedure and lock
collectively into the Paris accord.
"There is one member state that will not make the discussion
easy," Spain's Isabel Garcia Tejerina said, alluding to Poland.
Germany drew a red line over Poland's demands. "We cannot
start horse-trading over the different national ideas on climate
policy," Environment Minister Jochen Flasbarth said.
When EU regulators unveiled plans in July for spreading the
burden of the bloc's climate goal of reducing greenhouse gas
emissions by 2030 to at least 40 percent below 1990 levels,
Poland objected to its target.
POLAND SIGNALS GO-AHEAD DESPITE CONCERNS
"The fact that we are a member of the EU cannot be a brake
to our economy," Polish Environment Ministry spokesman Pawel
Mucha said on Friday.
However, in a signal that lifted hopes for a deal, the
Polish government gave the go-ahead to domestic approval of the
Paris pact this week, with Mucha saying it could be adopted by
parliament in "the coming days."
If ministers can seal a fast track for the EU, the world's
No. 3 emitter, it will tip into force an accord to keep planet
temperature rises "well below" 2 degrees Celsius - less than a
year after the deal was reached by envoys from nearly 200 states
and before the next U.N. climate talks round in November.
"It's about keeping our (EU) international leadership role
in fighting climate change. We can't fall to the back of the
pack," Austria's minister, Andrae Rupprechter, said.
Any agreement struck on Friday would then need to be
endorsed in a vote by the European Parliament on Oct. 4.
But the EU shortcut, dubbed "institutional creativity" by
France's minister, ultimately hangs on trust that each of the 28
will follow through with their own ratifications. If they do
not, those who have gone ahead could be stuck with fulfilling
the promised emissions cuts of the bloc as a whole.
Cementing the Paris accord before the U.S. presidential
election on Nov. 8 would also make it harder to unravel if
Republican Donald Trump, who has opposed it, wins that vote.
To take effect, it needs ratification by 55 countries that
account for 55 percent of global emissions. So far, 61 nations
representing 47.8 percent of emissions have ratified, led by
China and the United States. India is set to ratify on Sunday.
Germany, Hungary, France, Austria and Slovakia have
individually ratified the Paris pact within the EU, accounting
for some 12 percent of global emissions.
(Additional reporting by Jan Strupczewski in Brussels,
Agnieszka Barteczko in Warsaw and Alister Doyle in Oslo; editing
by Mark Heinrich)