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UN chief calls on all countries to sign Paris Agreement on climate change


UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday called on all world leaders to sign the Paris Agreement on climate change at a signature ceremony on April 22 in New York.

The agreement adopted at COP21 last December in Paris marked a historic turning point in the world’s response to climate change, said Ban while briefing member states about the upcoming signing ceremony.

“It will enable us to increase ambition on a regular basis, which is essential if we are to keep global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius, and pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees,” he added.

But Ban pointed out that the task is not over. “In fact, it has just begun. In 2016, we must go from words to deeds,” he said.

The April 22 signature ceremony is an essential step, said Ban. “I strongly urge the participation of all Governments at the highest level.”

The Signature Ceremony will be the first opportunity for governments to advance the process that will lead to the implementation and ratification of the Paris Agreement, he added.

The secretary-general laid out four topics that he expects leaders to address, namely an update on the implementation of national climate plans, a roadmap to limiting global temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius, a timetable for ratifying the Paris Agreement, and a plan to accelerate climate action before 2020.

On April 22, Ban will also hold a high-level summit lunch for Heads of States and Government and heads of delegation and a high-level event in the afternoon to highlight the critical importance of climate action and partnerships from all sectors of society.

The signing event will take place at UN Headquarters in New York on the first day the agreement will be open for signature, which coincides with the observance of International Mother Earth Day.

The Paris Agreement was adopted in December, 2015, by the 196 Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) during the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP21) hosted by France.

The Paris Agreement runs to 31 pages with 29 articles, including objective, mitigation, adaptation, loss and damage, finance, technology development and transfer, capacity building, and transparency of action and support.

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