France ratifies Paris climate agreement

French President Francois Hollande delivers a speech during the ratification ceremony for the World Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21) at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen

PARIS (Reuters) - President Francois Hollande on Wednesday signed a bill formally ratifying the Paris climate agreement reached last December by nearly 200 countries to limit global warming.

Hollande urged other European nations to ratify the accord by year-end, saying 17 states that have done so already were not the largest carbon emitters, but were the worst affected by natural disasters attributed to rising temperatures.

Led by France in December, some 195 countries reached the agreement, which was then signed by 175 nations in New York in April.

The agreement will become binding when 55 countries representing 55 percent of emissions of greenhouse gases ratify it.

China and the United States, the world’s top producers of greenhouse gas emissions, have pledged to formally adopt the agreement by the end of the year, raising the prospect of its being enforced much faster than anticipated.

Reporting by Jean-Baptiste Vey; Writing by Bate Felix; Editing by Leigh Thomas