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CLIMATE ACTION PROGRAMME

1 February 2016

Paris Agreement ‘decisive turning point’ on climate change, says UN adviser

There are already clear signs that the COP21 Paris climate deal is a decisive turning point in the global effort to combat climate change, according to a senior UN official.

195 UN member states adopted the historic Paris Agreement at the UN Climate Summit in December and the deal is designed to curb greenhouse gas emissions and limit global warming.

On Friday, Janos Pasztor was appointed Senior Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on Climate Change, and he addressed the media saying: “Much has been happening since Paris – the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) confirmed that 2015 was the hottest year on record, not just by a little but by a lot.”

Mr Pasztor has been a leader of the UN's efforts to combat climate change as Assistant Secretary-General on Climate Change, working towards the COP21 summit.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon has invited world leaders to a signing ceremony on 22 April and Mr Pasztor noted that it will be the first time the Agreement is open for formal signatures.

Pasztor said that Mr Ban is urging nations to ratify the agreement as quickly as possible so it can enter into force.

The signing ceremony will also be an opportunity to discuss efforts to implement the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, or national climate plans, that countries submiited in the build up to COP21 and to “maintain the momentum of the action agenda.”

Pasztor also reinforced the UN chief’s recent call for a doubling of investments in clean energy by 2020 and said: “The Paris Agreement sent a clear message to markets and investors that it's time to get serious about climate change. We're now seeing evidence that the signal has been received loud and clear.”

In a statement issued by the UN Spokesperson's Office, Mr Ban expressed his deep gratitude for Mr. Pasztor's “dedicated service and leadership” over the past twenty-five years on the global challenges of climate change, energy and sustainability.

“In his new role as Senior Adviser to the Secretary-General on Climate Change, Mr. Pasztor will support efforts of the Secretary-General to mobilize world leaders and all sectors of society to implement the landmark Paris Agreement,” the statement said.

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