04 October 2016

Opening remarks at joint press conference following the European Parliament session on the Paris Agreement on climate change

Ban Ki-moon

I would like to most especially thank and commend your global leadership in having this European Union approved fast track ratification process and it is truly an honour to be able to witness the historic moment.

Ladies and Gentlemen of the media,

I am very pleased to be in Strasbourg once again. The European Union Parliament today has supported the speedy ratification of the Paris Agreement. Today’s action enables the European Union and EU member states to deposit their ratification instrument as soon as possible.
As you know, there are two requirements for this Paris Agreement to enter into force. That is: fifty-five parties to the Agreement, and fifty-five percent of greenhouse gas emissions accounted for.

As of today, we have countries representing fifty-two percent of global emissions. With the action taken by the EU Parliament, I am confident that we will be able to cross the fifty-five percent threshold very soon, in just a matter of a few days.   
We have seen extraordinary momentum from all corners of the globe to bring the Paris Agreement to life this year. The Agreement is backed by the support of the world’s most powerful economies, and its most vulnerable countries.

By their actions today, here, European Parliamentarians have underscored their commitment to international cooperation, which is at the heart of the European Union’s identity. They have reaffirmed their support for urgent action to meet the climate change, and to turn it into an opportunity for building safer, healthier, and more prosperous societies.
I thank the European Union and President Martin Schulz for their leadership and for their support and look forward to the Paris Agreement entering into force as soon as possible, in just a few days’ time.

Thank you very much.