Saturday, 16 January 2021

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UN Secretary-General praises EU for its leadership on historic vote to support Paris Agreement on Climate Change

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United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon praised the European Union for its long-standing leadership on climate change and welcomed the support of the European Parliament in favour of swift ratification of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

The European Parliament, meeting in session in Strasbourg, France, overwhelmingly voted with 610 in favour, 38 against and 31 abstentions to support the swift ratification of the Paris Agreement.

To enter into force, 55 countries must join the Agreement, and countries representing 55 per cent of global emissions must also join. 

Already, 62 countries have signed up to the Agreement, and the action by the European Parliament means that the global emissions target is expected to be met in the coming days.

"At a moment of divisions on many other challenges, let us show we are united on the biggest one of all," the Secretary-General said in his remarks.

The European Union and seven EU Member States, Germany, Austria, France, Hungary, Slovakia, Malta and Portugal, that have completed the ratification process are now expected to deposit their ratification instruments at UN Headquarters later this week, meaning that the agreement would be in force before the start of the 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP22), which is set to take place in Marrakech, Morocco from 7-18 November 2016.

"Such a swift embrace would be a remarkable achievement for any international agreement.  It would be especially impressive for one that addresses one of the most complex, all-embracing issues of our time", the Secretary-General said.

The historic vote by the European Parliament "means that the EU remains a climate leader,’" said European Parliament President Martin Schulz. The EU accounts for some 12 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

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