European Union states have today agreed on a fast-track, joint ratification of the Paris climate deal.
The decision, which was reached at a meeting in Brussels, brings the agreement reached in the French capital last year very close to entering into force.
It is expected to be formally ratified next week after it is approved by the European Parliament.
So far, 61 nations, accounting for almost 48% of global emissions have ratified the deal. The agreement will enter into force 30 days after at least 55 countries, representing at least 55% of global emissions have ratified.
Last week UK Prime Minister Theresa May confirmed the nation would ratify the agreement by the end of this year.
Miguel Arias Cañete, EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy said: “They said Europe is too complicated to agree quickly. They said we had too many hoops to jump through. They said we were all talk. Today’s decision shows what Europe is all about: unity and solidarity as Member States take a European approach, just as we did in Paris. We are reaching a critical period for decisive climate action and when the going gets tough, Europe gets going.”