(Updates after ratification bill was signed by Polish
WARSAW Oct 6 Poland signed up to the Paris
climate agreement on Thursday, ending doubts that the
coal-dependent nation might defy other European Union members
that have endorsed the shift away from fossil fuels.
The Paris agreement is due come into effect on Nov. 4 after
clearing a final hurdle on Wednesday when seven EU countries
signed up. U.S. President Barack Obama called it a "historic
day" and a potential "turning point" in protecting the planet.
Poland, whose economy is heavily dependent on coal, has
often been the least enthusiastic of EU nations in climate
policies, fearing it will face big costs, but has come round to
support the Paris agreement.
On Thursday, Polish President Andrzej Duda signed the
ratification bill for the climate deal, after 402 lawmakers
voted in favour in parliament earlier in the day, versus just 36
who voted against.
"We are very happy that the majority of MPs has acceded to
our proposal. We hope for a smooth completion of the legislative
process," the environment ministry's spokesman said.
The Paris accord, signed by almost 200 nations in December,
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 pre-industrial times.
EU nations Germany, France, Portugal, Austria, Slovakia,
Hungary and Malta formally joined up on Wednesday, adding to
major emitters led by China and the United States.
The EU ratifications pushed support for the pact to nations
representing 58.82 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions,
above a threshold for entry into force of 55 percent.
In total, 73 countries out of 195 have ratified the
agreement, according to the U.N. website.
(Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko and Pawel Sobczak; Editing by