Abuja – The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) official has urged countries to step up actions on addressing the impact of climate change.
UNEP’s Executive Director, Achim Steiner said this in a statement issued from New York on Friday and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
Steiner issued the statement on the occasion of the opening day for the signing of the Paris Agreement in New York.
“In Paris, the world’s nations agreed that climate change is a threat to planetary well-being.
“Having over 160 countries signed the Paris Agreement in New York on its opening day is proof positive that the world is committed to a global response to this threat.
“More than this, the signed Paris Agreement is evidence of an epochal shift in global mentality toward how we interact with our environment.
“The challenges we face from climate change are still very real, and no document can fix our problems for us.”
The official said that what the Paris Agreement could do is to inspire action, safe in the knowledge that we do not act alone, but with a global unity of purpose.
Steiner, however, said that it was heartening to see countries come together to improve the lives of all peoples through the safeguarding of our planet.
“Signing the Paris Agreement is just a step on a long journey to make our world a better place.
“A large step, yes, but many more remain to be taken in our efforts to address the risks of climate change, reduce pollution and increase access to clean energy.
“Increase access to clean energy by continuing to cooperate, as the world did in Paris, we can achieve our goals sooner than we expect.
“UNEP, as part of the United Nations family, is committed to supporting nations and citizens in making this transition towards a greener future,” Steiner said.
NAN reports that the event, hosted by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon on Earth Day, will be the largest signing ceremony of its kind in the history of the UN.
It demonstrated the political momentum behind the global plan to tackle climate change and end the fossil fuel era. (NAN)