UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (front) gives a lecture entitled "Facing Global Challenges: Finding Hope in Youth" at Cairo University in Cairo, Egypt, on Feb. 15, 2017. (Xinhua/Meng Tao)
NEW YORK, May 30 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday called on all leaders of government, business, and civil society to back the Paris climate change agreement and take actions to slow down global warming.
In his first major speech on climate action, Guterres promised that he will intensify high-level political engagement to "raise the bar" on climate action.
"The Paris pledges are historic but still do not go nearly far enough to limit temperature rise to well below 2 degrees and as close as possible to 1.5 degrees," said Guterres in an address at New York University.
"So we must do our utmost to increase ambition and action until we can bend the emissions curve and slow down global warming," he added.
"Yet, not everyone will move at the same pace or with equal vigor," he said. "But if any government doubts the global will and need for this accord, that is reason for all others to unite even stronger and stay the course."
The Paris Agreement was adopted by 196 parties in Paris in 2015 and it went into effect in November. The pact sets a target of holding the global average rise in temperature below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and preferably below 1.5 degrees Celsius.
So far, 147 parties representing more than 82 percent of greenhouse gas emissions have ratified the agreement.
The United States, one of the biggest greenhouse emitters in the world, would announce its position this week whether to leave the deal or to stay.
To enhance global climate actions, Guterres noted that he will work with governments and all major actors, like coal, oil and gas industries, to accelerate the global energy transition and progress on carbon pricing.
He also called for innovative partnerships to implement the Paris Agreement through North-South, South-South, and triangular cooperation to push for progress in combating climate change.