New York

21 September 2016

Secretary-General's closing remarks at High-Level Event on the Entry into Force of the Paris Agreement [as delivered]

I am heartened by the tremendous support for bringing the Paris Agreement into force this year. 

The global coalition that delivered in Paris continues to go from strength to strength.

With this meeting this morning, as of now, we have 60 parties representing, over 47.5% [of global greenhouse gas emissions]. We need 7.5% more.  And that means we have crossed one the two thresholds, the 55 countries, so it’s well over, now let us work harder to get all this 7.5% greenhouse gas emissions added more.   I thank the 31 countries who have deposited their instruments with me today.  I am happy to declare that we have officially crossed one of the two thresholds required to bring the Paris Agreement into force.

As you have already heard, we heard from a diverse group of world leaders that they intend to ratify and deposit their legal instruments this year.  If I may repeat again, they include Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, the European Union, France, Germany, New Zealand, Namibia and the Republic of Korea. 

Leaders from Kazakhstan and Poland have also informed me of the same intention. 

I am greatly encouraged that leaders in the European Union are working to ensure they will join the Agreement this year.

Taken together, these commitments, added to the 60 countries that have now formally joined the agreement, will put us past the threshold of 55 per cent of global emissions.

Now, this means we will cross the final barrier for entry into force of the Paris Agreement. 

I appeal to all leaders to accelerate your domestic procedures to join the agreement this year. 

What once seemed impossible is now inevitable. 

I am confident that, by the time I leave office, the Paris Agreement will have entered into force. 

This will be a major achievement for multilateralism. 

It will mark a new era of global cooperation in building a safer, more resilient and prosperous world.

And it will catalyze action on many levels.

It will help accelerate efforts to protect the poor and most vulnerable from increasing climate impacts. 

It will spur governments to fast-track implementation of their national climate plans.

And it will send a strong signal to the private sector that the future belongs to those who invest in low-carbon development and the climate resilient economy. 

I salute your leadership and commitment to the Paris Agreement.  

I count on you to build on this strong global momentum in the coming weeks to further reduce the risks of dangerous climate change. 

Every country and every sector must play its part. 

Later this month, at the International Civil Aviation Organization Assembly (ICAO), I urge you to support a global deal to limit rapidly growing emissions from the aviation sector. 

And, at the Kigali meeting of the Montreal Protocol in October, I urge you to reach global consensus on an amendment to phase-down harmful HFC greenhouse gases. 

Together these two actions will go far to reduce planet-warming emissions and supplement efforts under the Paris Agreement. 

When this year ends, I hope we can all look back with pride, knowing that, together, we seized the opportunity to act for the common good, for a sustainable future and the protection of our common home. 

Let us work together to make this world environmentally sustainable so that all of us, and our succeeding generations can live in peace and harmony.  I thank you very much for your leadership.  Thank you.