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EU Parliament Backs Paris Climate Deal

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon addresses lawmakers of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, ahead of the body's vote on the Paris climate agreement, Oct. 4, 2016.

The European Parliament has overwhelmingly endorsed the ratification of the Paris climate agreement, in the presence of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

With 610 votes for, 38 against and 31 abstentions, the 28 EU nations on Tuesday simultaneously approved ratification of the agreement to limit global warming, putting the deal on track to come into force globally.

A vote for its formal ratification is scheduled for Friday at the United Nations.

"With the action taken by the EU parliament, I am confident that we will be able to cross the 55 percent threshold very soon; in a matter of days,'' Ban told reporters.

Sixty-two countries have already ratified the agreement, but they accounted only for about 52 percent of emissions.

The European Union, which accounts for 12 percent of global emissions, had planned to wait for its member states to approve the deal domestically, but because the progress was slow, it moved on their behalf.

The EU vote makes it possible that the Paris climate agreement take effect globally by next U.N. climate conference, which starts on November 7 in Marrakech, Morocco.

The Paris agreement commits rich and poor countries to take action to curb the rise in global temperatures that is melting glaciers, raising sea levels and shifting rainfall patterns.

It requires governments to present national plans to reduce emissions to limit global temperature rise to well below two degrees Celsius.