On 22 April 2016, 175 parties gathered in New York to officially sign the Paris Climate Agreement, at a ceremony held at United Nations headquarters. The ceremony was opened by Ban Ki-moon and attended by Ségolène Royal, President of the COP, François Hollande, President of France, and Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC.
Over 160 Heads of State or high-ranking officials were expected to travel to New York for the ceremony on 22 April. In the end, no fewer than 175 signatory parties (174 nations and the European Union) turned out to sign the Paris Climate Agreement at UN headquarters. It is a historic figure, far surpassing the previous record of 119 signatures at the official inauguration of an international agreement, held by the Montego Bay Convention on the Law of the Sea in 1982.
The Paris Agreement was reached on 12 December 2015, but the parties still needed to sign the final text of the agreement. The Agreement will now be made available for signature at UN headquarters in New York, from 22 April 2016 to 21 April 2017. Signing the Agreement expresses a country’s commitment to being bound by its terms, and represents a further step towards full ratification.
From today, all nations have a maximum of one year to sign up to the Agreement, which will come into force 30 days after it has been ratified by at least 55 countries (representing a total of 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions).