Terming the Paris climate change deal as “a health insurance policy for the planet”, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said it is for the first time that every nation in the world has pledged to curb emissions and address climate change.
“The countries of the world have made a historic choice,” Ban told reporters on Monday on his return from the COP21 conference in Paris, as he called on governments to put their pledges into action.
“The Paris Agreement is a victory for people, for the common good, and for multilateralism. It is a health insurance policy for the planet,” Ban said.
Describing the climate agreement as the most significant action in years to uphold the UN Charter mandate to “save succeeding generations”, Ban said nations have unanimously decided to work as one to rise to the defining challenge of current times.
“For the first time, every country in the world has pledged to curb emissions, strengthen resilience and act internationally and domestically to address climate change,” he said.
The 195 Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on Saturday adopted the Paris Agreement after two weeks of intensive negotiations at the summit.
The accord covers all crucial areas identified as essential for a landmark conclusion: mitigation – reducing emissions fast enough to achieve the temperature goal; a transparency system and global stock-take – accounting for climate action; adaptation and support – including finance, for nations to build clean, resilient futures.
Ban said it embodies a successful new approach to global cooperation on climate change, with countries acknowledging that their national interest is best served by acting for the common good by transforming the global economy to low-emission, climate-resilient growth.
“It marks a decisive turning point in the global quest for a safer, more sustainable and prosperous future,’ he stressed.
“It will save lives, improve human well-being and promote more peaceful, stable societies.”
He highlighted the agreement as one of his top priorities since the day he became UN Secretary-General.
“For nine years, I have spoken repeatedly with nearly every world leader about how the growing human imprint on the planet threatens our lives, our economies, our security and our survival. I have mobilised business and engaged civil society. I have never lost faith that the international community could rise to the climate challenge.
“Now I count on Governments, and all sectors of society, to turn these commitments into urgent, decisive action,” he added.