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UN Foundation Celebrates Progress toward Implementation of the Paris Agreement to Address Climate Change

New York, New York —   September 21, 2016

Multiple countries formally joined or committed to join the Paris Agreement on climate change during a special event at the United Nations this morning, bringing the historic climate accord closer to entry into force. Today’s event brings the total countries that have joined or committed to join the agreement by the end of the year to 96. If commitments are met as promised, the Paris Agreement will enter into force this year.

The Paris Agreement commits parties to take action to keep global temperature rise well below 2° Celsius to stave off the worst impacts of climate change on health, food security, and extreme weather. The agreement is the product of years of international negotiation, culminating in Paris last December when over 190 nations met to adopt the historic international accord on climate change. On Earth Day of this year, the agreement was signed at the United Nations by 175 countries, the most signatures to an international agreement on any single day in history. The agreement will enter into force 30 days after at least 55 countries have formally joined, representing at least 55 percent of the world’s global greenhouse gas emissions.

The United Nations Foundation celebrates the action taken today by nations to formally join the first-ever universal climate agreement. President and CEO Kathy Calvin said:

“The action taken by countries to join the Paris Agreement demonstrates that nations recognize the importance of this historic climate accord and are committed to take swift action to bring this agreement into force. Taking action on climate change is urgent and essential to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and making sure no one is left behind, and today’s ceremony has shown that leaders are taking meaningful action to protect people and planet.

“The leadership of the UN has helped guide the Paris Agreement process from negotiation, to adoption to signing, and now countries formally joining. We celebrate the progress on the Paris Agreement, underscored by new commitments announced today, that continue the momentum toward quick entry into force. The time has come to move from words to action on climate change, and today’s event gives us great hope for the future of global climate action.”