United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has officially invited all world leaders to a signing ceremony on 22 April for the historic climate agreement that was reached in Paris in December last year.
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, observed in many countries as simply Earth Day.
The Secretary-General intends to use the occasion of the signing ceremony to further engage leaders from business and civil society to put the new agreement into action.
In his invitation letter, the Secretary-General said that leaders’ participation could also facilitate the early entry into force of the Paris Agreement and “provide for the smooth finalisation of the operational details needed to give effect to the provisions of the new Agreement.”
In Paris, the 196 parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) reached an historic agreement to combat climate change that will spur actions and investment towards a low-carbon, resilient and sustainable future. It is the first agreement that joins all nations in a common cause based on their historic, current and future responsibilities.
The main aim is to keep a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Additionally, the agreement aims to strengthen capability to deal with the impacts of climate change.
To reach these ambitious and important goals, appropriate financial flows will be put in place, thus making stronger action by developing countries and the most vulnerable possible, in line with their own national objectives.
In his invitation, the Secretary-General thanked heads of state and government for their leadership in combating climate change.
“The adoption of the Paris Agreement caps a remarkable year of multilateral achievements for people and the planet,” he said. “It provides a solid foundation for the low-carbon, climate-resilient transformation of the global economy. This transformation will help secure a future that is safer, healthier and more prosperous for all.”
At least 55 countries, representing at least 55 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, are needed to ratify the agreement before it can take legal effect.