Climate change treaty enters into force

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A view of the Middelgruden offshore wind farm. The wind farm was developed off the Danish coast in 2000 and consists of 20 turbines. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Civil society groups worldwide have been encouraged by the UN Secretary-General to press governments to deliver on their promises to protect the planet.

Ban Ki-moon met with leaders from these organizations at UN Headquarters on Friday to celebrate the entry into force of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

The treaty aims to mitigate global warming by keeping global temperature rises to below 2 degrees Celsius.

Nearly 100 countries have ratified it, accounting for around 70 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Dianne Penn reports.

For the UN Secretary-General, this was an emotional moment. 

Mr Ban recalled marching shoulder-to-shoulder with civil society ahead of a 2014 climate summit he had convened.

He said its entry into force was a credit to these organizations, and an historic occasion for the world. 

But he stated that the work is not yet over. 

"We are still in a race against time. We need to transition to a low-emissions and climate-resilient future. So I ask every one of you to keep up the fight: Hold governments accountable, and press for action." 

Prior to the start of the meeting, Mr Ban addressed reporters outside the conference room where it took place. 

He commented that this generation is the first to really feel the effects of climate change, and the last that can prevent the worst of its consequences. 

Dianne Penn, United Nations. 

Duration: 58″

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