Paris Agreement Signed at UN Headquarters

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the participation by so many countries, including the United States, leaves "no doubt" that the international community is determined to take climate action.

A group of 175 world leaders signed the Paris Agreement at United Nations headquarters on April 22, Earth Day, with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon saying afterward that the next critical step is to ensure the agreement for global action on climate change enters into force as soon as possible. "Today is an historic day," Ban told reporters at a news conference following the opening ceremony of the signing event. "This is by far the largest number of countries ever to sign an international agreement on a single day."

He also said the participation by so many countries, including the United States, leaves "no doubt" that the international community is determined to take climate action.

Adopted in Paris by the 196 Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change at a conference in December 2015, the agreement aims to limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius and to strive for 1.5 degrees Celsius. It will enter into force 30 days after at least 55 countries, accounting for 55 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, deposit their instruments of ratification.

"If all the countries that have signed today take the next step at the national level and join the agreement, the world will have met the requirement needed for the Paris Agreement to enter into force," Ban said, adding that 15 countries have deposited their instruments for ratification. They include Barbados, Belize, Fiji, Grenada, Maldives, Samoa, Somalia, and Tuvalu.

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