PARIS, June 16, (APP): Climate Change: France becomes first major nation to ratify UN climate deal
President Francois Hollande on Wednesday finalized ratification of the Paris climate accord reached in December 2015, making France the first industrialized country to do so.
"Signing is good, ratifying is better," Hollande quipped at the Elysee Palace ceremony, flanked by Environment Minister Segolene Royal, Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault and other top officials.
He noted that the deal will not come into force unless at least 55 countries responsible for at least 55 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions ratify it.
So far 17 states -- mainly small island and low-lying coastal countries that are especially vulnerable to the sea-level rise -- have ratified the deal.
Hollande called on other European countries to follow France 's lead by the end of the year.