A day ahead of the G-20 meeting in Hanzhou, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Saturday commended the world’s two biggest emitters United States and China for ratifying the Paris climate change deal.
The UN chief also urged other nations to accelerate national efforts to join the ambitious pact to ensure that it comes into force by the end of this year.
At a ceremony in Hangzhou, Ban said:“Together, China and the United States, the world’s two largest greenhouse gas emitters, represent nearly 38 per cent of global emissions. Now, by formally joining the Paris Agreement, you have added powerful momentum to the drive for the Agreement to enter into force this year.”
As he received the official instruments for joining, Ban congratulated Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Barack Obama. The two countries are world’s two largest greenhouse gas emitters.
Ban also noted that another 29 countries representing 16 per cent of global emissions are required to bring the Paris Agreement into force.
“I am hopeful and optimistic that we can do it before the end of this year and before my term as Secretary-General of the United Nations ends,” Ban said at the ceremony.
A total of 26 countries, accounting for 39 per cent per cent of global emissions have now officially joined the Paris Agreement, which will enter into force 30 days after at least 55 countries, accounting for 55 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, deposit their instruments of ratification or acceptance with the Secretary-General.
Ban hailed Obama for his leadership on climate change and working with other nations to reach a deal to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Ban said: “While we were waiting, he asked me what I want to do after retirement. Well, Mr President, I am going to write some memoir: one of the many important, inspiring thing will be my inspiring moment of President Obama’s leadership (in Copenhagen).”
“Have you ever imagined the President of the United States, holding his own laptop, going around the Heads of State sitting in a small chair, proposing a draft and changing it on the spot? I would have never expected that the US President would do that and I was so much inspired. He inspired everybody,” he added.
Ban Ki-Moon will host a high-level event at the UN on September 21. The event is aimed to provide an opportunity for countries to deposit their legal instruments and to publicly commit to joining the Paris Agreement before the end of 2016.