European parliament "underscores" climate commitment: UN chief

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon meets with Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament, in Strasbourg, France. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

European parliamentarians have "underscored their commitment" to fight climate change by backing the ratification of the Paris Agreement, UN chief Ban Ki-moon said on Tuesday.

The Secretary-General made a special trip to the European Parliament, in Strasbourg, France, in order to urge Member States of the European Union (EU) to "fast track" ratification.

Daniel Dickinson has more.

The agreement calls on all countries to keep the global temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius.

Already, 62 countries have joined the agreement signed last December, representing 52 per cent of the necessary 55 per cent of emissions.

Mr Ban said he could think of "no better way to secure the legacy of Paris" than having the agreement enter into force "in record time."   

He praised the vote by Parliamentarians, which allows individual countries to send their ratification documents directly to UN Headquarters.

"By their actions today 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 climate change and to turn it into an opportunity for building safer, healthier and more prosperous societies."

The UN chief said he hoped the 55 per cent threshold could be reached within a matter of days, following on from India joining the agreement last weekend.

The world's two biggest emitters, China and the United States, formally joined earlier in September.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations. 

Duration: 1’14″

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