12 May, 2016
More than 170 world leaders sign United Nations climate deal
|Francois Hollande (2nd L) sits next to Ban Ki-moon (2nd R) at the signing ceremony.
(AFP: Timothy A. Clary)
A total of 175 countries have signed the Paris climate agreement at the United Nations in New York City, a record for a one-day signing of an international accord, the UN says.
French President Francois Hollande and Canada's Justin Trudeau joined US Secretary of State John Kerry for the record turnout that has boosted hopes of quick action on combating global warming.
"This is a moment in history," UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said.
"Today you are signing a new covenant with the future."
Held on Earth Day, the ceremony comes four months after the hard-won deal was clinched in Paris and marks the first step toward binding countries to the promises they made to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
While the United States, China and India - the world's top greenhouse gas emitters - were not represented by their highest officials, some 60 heads of state and government were set to be among the signatories.
The Paris Agreement will come into force as soon as 55 countries responsible for 55 per cent of the world's greenhouse gases have ratified the accord.
The target date for the agreement to begin is 2020, but momentum is building to ensure the accord enters into force much earlier.
Mr Hollande called on governments to quickly ratify the Paris deal and singled out the European Union, saying the 28-nation bloc should "lead by example" and give final approval before the end of the year.
China and the United States have said they will ratify this year and are pushing for others to follow suit so that the agreement becomes operational possibly as early as late 2016 or 2017.
But the European Union may take up to a year and half for the ratification.
Source: ABC News