Caribbean Lead­ers sign Cli­mate Change Agree­ment

The Star (St. Lucia) - - REGIONAL -

Caribbean lead­ers are among more than 170 world lead­ers who signed the Paris Agree­ment on cli­mate change – the land­mark ac­cord that sets outs a global ac­tion plan to put the world on track to avoid dan­ger­ous global warm­ing – on Fri­day morn­ing at the United Na­tions head­quar­ters.

Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral Ban Ki-moon called on coun­tries to move quickly to join the ac­cord at the na­tional level so that it can en­ter into force as early as pos­si­ble.

The Paris Agree­ment was adopted by all 196 Par­ties to the UN Frame­work Con­ven­tion on Cli­mate Change (UNFCCC) at the UN Cli­mate Change Con­fer­ence in Paris on 12 De­cem­ber 2015. All coun­tries agreed to work to limit global tem­per­a­ture rise to well be­low 2 de­grees Cel­sius, and to strive for 1.5 de­grees Cel­sius.

The Paris Agree­ment will en­ter into force 30 days af­ter at least 55 coun­tries, ac­count­ing for at least 55 per cent of global green­house gas emis­sions, de­posit their in­stru­ments of rat­i­fi­ca­tion or ac­cep­tance with the Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral.

“Let us never for­get – cli­mate ac­tion is not a bur­den; in­deed, it of­fers many ben­e­fits,” the UN chief said as he opened the High Level Sig­na­ture Cer­e­mony for the Paris Agree­ment. “It can help us erad­i­cate poverty, cre­ate green jobs, de­feat hunger, pre­vent in­sta­bil­ity and im­prove the lives of girls and women.”

Ban un­der­scored that while it is good news that states are break­ing records at the UN, records are also be­ing bro­ken out­side.

“Record global tem­per­a­tures. Record ice loss. Record car­bon lev­els in the at­mos­phere. We are in a race against time,” he pointed out, stress­ing that the win­dow for keep­ing global tem­per­ate rise well be­low 2 de­grees Cel­sius – let alone 1.5 de­grees – is “rapidly clos­ing.”

“The era of con­sump­tion with­out con­se­quences is over. We must in­ten­sify ef­forts to de­car­bonize our economies. And we must sup­port de­vel­op­ing coun­tries in mak­ing this tran­si­tion. The poor and most vul­ner­a­ble must not suf­fer fur­ther from a prob­lem they did not cre­ate,” the Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral added.

In that vein, the UN chief high­lighted that cli­mate ac­tion is es­sen­tial to achiev­ing the Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Goals.

Fri­day’s spe­cial sign­ing cer­e­mony took place on the first day that the Paris Agree­ment will open for sig­na­tures. It will re­main open for one year.

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