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“Victory!” – How The Turbo-Charged EU Climate Deal Unfolded on Twitter

Tweets about the EU's fast-tracking of the Paris Agreement ratification. Compilation by the Daily Planet.
Tweets about the EU's fast-tracking of the Paris Agreement ratification. Compilation by the Daily Planet.

Europe’s climate change ministers have decided to fast-track their Paris Agreement ratification, forwarding the accord to the EU parliament for a final vote.

At an extraordinary meeting in Brussels on Friday (30 September), EU climate change ministers proceeded with an option first discussed by Europe’s prime ministers and presidents at a summit in Bratislava, Slovakia, earlier in September.

Speeding up Paris

Following months of pressure from some member states as well as the European Parliament – which forms the European Union’s legislature along with the council of ministers – and the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, Europe’s climate ministers fast-tracked their ratification of the historic accord.

The European Parliament is now expected to give its consent on Tuesday (4 October). Pressure had been mounting for EU member states to bypass their national procedures and ratify the agreement at EU level, responding to unexpectedly swift ratification by the US and China and amid record-breaking heat.

EU ministers could wrap up the paperwork as soon as Wednesday, after the EU parliament has voted. With its upcoming ratification the European Union – which played a crucial role in making the agreement possible last year – is now likely to trigger the greenhouse gas-curbing Paris Agreement into force globally.

The Daily Planet has selected a few tweets to give you an impression of how the deal unfolded online on Friday.

Ahead of the crucial meeting in Brussels, a press officer tweeted this seating plan.

Luxembourg’s climate change minister Carole Dieschbourg tweeted “We need to deliver – and keep our promises!”

Later that morning, French environment minister Ségolène Royal’s account tweeted a photo of the meeting room, calling the discussion a “fight for Europe’s ratification of the Paris Agreement.”

Finland’s minister responsible for climate change, Kimmo Tiilikainen, tweeted a photo of his spot at the negotiation table, indicating that his country would be among those pushing to speed up the timeline.

Royal’s account also tweeted a photo showing the minister with her Slovakian colleague László Sólymos, who would chair the discussion, ahead of the meeting.

EU climate commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete attended the meeting and tweeted these photos at the kick-off of the discussion.

“Now let’s show the world what Europe is all about,” he commented, “unity and solidarity. Let’s ratify the Paris Agreement.”

Europe can’t give up its role as “the workhorse of ambitious climate politics,” Austria’s climate change minister Andrä Rupprechter warned.

He included a photo of himself in discussion with his Polish colleague Jan Szyszko. Poland was one of the countries that had yet to be convinced in the meeting.

Dutch climate change minister Sharon Dijksma indicated the Netherlands was also in favour of fast-tracking ratification.

UK industry and climate change minister Nick Hurd tweeted he would “express UK support for early ratification of the Paris Agreement.”

Finally, at 12:44 Brussels time – almost four hours after Cañete indicated the meeting had begun – Royal tweeted “Victory!”

The French politician, who played an instrumental role at the UN climate summit in Paris last year, reported that the ministers had agreed “unanimously” to ratify the Paris Agreement.

Austria’s Rupprechter added “Yes! When unified, we are strong,” confirming they had just agreed to the rapid ratification of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

“Deal!” tweeted a euphoric EU climate chief Cañete along with jubilant video footage from the meeting, calling it a “historic day.”

“What some believed impossible is now real,” Donald Tusk tweeted. Tusk chairs the meetings of Europe’s prime ministers and presidents, the climate ministers’ bosses, and pointed to the Bratislava summit’s role in the deal.

Cypriot climate minister Nicos Kouyialils mentioned that the meeting took four hours, before announcing the positive result.

Latvian environment minister Kaspars Gerhards added the meeting had been “long and hot.”

But following the vote, the EU will be “united and strong” at the forthcoming climate summit in Marrakesh, Luxembourg’s Dieschbourg tweeted.

EU parliament speaker Martin Schulz also welcomed the news and confirmed the European Parliament is “all set” for the “final vote on Tuesday.”

EU commission vice-president Maroš Šefčovič – in charge of Europe’s energy transformation – also called it a “historic moment,” highlighting it happened less than a year after the accord was adopted in Paris.

Royal tweeted a photo of the Eiffel Tower lit up in EU blue, adding that Europe “has lived up to its responsibilities and is making history.”

“Great news!” tweeted UN climate chief Patricia Espinosa, along with a photo of EU flags.

Finland’s Tiilikainen was among those looking ahead to the implementation of the agreement and tweeted “See you in Marrakesh” to Morocco’s climate change minister Hakima El Haité and COP22 president Salaheddine Mezouar.

Giovanni La Via, chair of the EU parliament’s Environment Committee, tweeted that he welcomed the ministers’ fast-track deal, and announced “final votes” in his committee on Monday, and parliament’s plenary session on Tuesday (4 October).

Nadine Lux was one of many Twitter users to welcome the news and tweeted “Yeeessssss!!!!!” calling the deal “good news to wake up to.”

Lux was also very grateful for the EU’s “fast-track action.”

Former UN climate chief Christiana Figueres thanked the European Commission, and said “we are almost there.”

A twitter user in Argentina also called it a “historic day for Europe.”

On Sunday, Cañete congratulated India – which had previously announced it would ratify on 2 October – highlighting that the EU is next, and will likely trigger the Paris Agreement into force.

Barack Obama, the US president, reminded his followers that India’s ratification occurred on the anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday.

“[Indian prime minister] Narendra Modi and the Indian people carry on” Gandhi’s legacy of believing “in a world worthy of our children” by joining the Paris Agreement, Obama said.


The agreement will be activated when 55 countries accounting for 55 per cent of global emissions ratify the accord. More than 60 countries have already ratified, accounting for some 50 per cent of emissions, and the EU’s share is a little over 12 per cent.

With the climate accord almost ratified, the world’s attention is now shifting towards rapid implementation to try to limit global warming before it reaches catastrophic levels. In a little over a month, the COP22 climate summit in Marrakesh will see officials and diplomats discuss the practical details of how to implement the historic agreement.

Climate-KIC, the EU’s climate innovation partnership, is set to host the Climate Innovation Summit 2016 on 8 November in Frankfurt, focusing on the solutions needed to deliver on the Paris Agreement.

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