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Paris Agreement at 5: Accord is a covenant of hope – Espinosa

Statement on occasion of the 5th anniversary of the Paris Agreement on Saturday, December 12, 2020, by UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Patricia Espinosa

patricia espinosa
Patricia Espinosa, executive secretary of the UNFCCC

Five years ago, nations of the world came together to adopt the Paris Agreement, an agreement forged by a spirit of multilateral trust and leadership. It is dedicated to the notion that humanity can and will work together to address climate change in order to build a clean, green, healthy and prosperous future for all people.

The Paris Agreement is more than a framework, more than a set of rules and regulations. It is a covenant of hope with the people of the world that will help to move our current trajectory to a better destiny.

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Today, we mark the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement. For this purpose, we have come together at the virtual Climate Ambition Summit, co-hosted by the UK, the UN and France, in partnership with Chile and Italy.

Despite these difficult days, the Paris Agreement continues to be a beacon collectively guiding nations and all parts of society forward.

Recovery from COVID-19 offers nations a chance to build forward better and to orientate green policies and plans towards this. The Paris Agreement provides the path forward.

The first step on that path needs to be highly ambitious climate action. To this end, we welcome all announcements made by leaders and stakeholders during the Climate Ambition Summit.

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2021 is an important year for the Paris Agreement. Against the backdrop of growing ambition, nations must move from discussions about how the Agreement works, to how they will fully implement it in their countries, and how the most vulnerable countries will be supported in this over the long-term. The outcome needs to be a balanced package – the kind of balance that was achieved in Paris – that also enables actions by all stakeholders at all levels of society.

This work urgently needs to start now for it to be finalised at COP26, which is set to take place in Glasgow, Scotland. COP26 needs to send a clear signal that the transformations required to put the world towards a 1.5 Celsius trajectory really are underway.

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The Paris Agreement shows that we, as a people, as humanity, can work together towards positive change. But we must all work together to make it happen-in all parts of society and in all parts of the world for the benefit of all people for generations to come.

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