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Record Number of Countries to Sign Paris Agreement Today

COP21 Fabius Ban Hollande

22.04.2016 – More than 175 countries will sign the historic climate change agreement today that was reached in Paris last December.  The signature ceremony will be hosted by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at UN Headquarters, New York.

The 175 signatories will set a record for the highest number of countries to sign an international agreement on one day, previously set in 1982, when 119 countries signed the Law of the Sea Convention.

The world’s largest economies and the largest greenhouse gas emitters have indicated that they will sign the agreement on Friday 22 April.

The agreement enters into force after 30 days, providing that at least 55 Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) ratify the agreement, accounting for at least 55% of global emissions.

The Opening Ceremony starts at 14:30 PM (Central European Time) and will include remarks by Youth Representative Getrude Clement, a 16-year-old radio reporter from Tanzania and climate advocate with UNICEF; UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; French President François Hollande; the President of the General Assembly Mogens Lykketoft; and Leonardo DiCaprio, UN Messenger of Peace with a special focus on climate change.

Getting the ball rolling on climate action as quickly as possible is crucial.  In order to avoid undoing progress made over the past years in development, the world must transform its energy, industry, transport, food, agriculture and forestry systems to reduce the rise in global temperatures to below 2 degrees.

In the six years that have passed since Christiana Figueres was appointed Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, following the “disastrous” climate meeting in Copenhagen in 2009, she said we have “come from the impossible to the unstoppable”, with a “remarkable” dedication to the Paris Agreement.

Earthday 002

This year, Earth Day coincides with the signing ceremony of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. 

The theme of Earth Day 2016 is ‘Trees for the Earth’, in which organisers have set the goal of planting 7.8 billion trees over the next five years.  Earth Day’s theme this year is focused on trees with the aim of mobilising nearly eight billion plantings, or one for every man, woman and child alive by 2020. Follow the campaign on social media with the hashtag #TreesforEarth.

All parts of the Signature Ceremony will be broadcast live at:

For more information, please visit the website: or follow us on Twitter at: @GlobalGoalsUN and on Facebook at


UNRICs Related Links

· Earth Day

· Paris Agreement

· Sustainable Development Goals 

Photo 1: UN Photo  French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and French President François Hollande at the closing ceremony of COP21.

Photo 2: UN Photo

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