Speech of President János Áder at the signing ceremony of Paris Climate Agreement at the UN Headquarters in New York
Esteemed Ladies and Gentlemen,
We have no time to wait, action is needed now instead of promises – these were the words said not for the first time a few hours ago by Secretary-general Ban Ki Mun. Since Paris we have been receiving good and bad news about climate change.
It was bad news that there are countries, which wish to slow down the implementation of the Paris Agreement, who are hesitant. The good news was that China and the United States have signed the third bilateral agreement within a year and a half, and as you could hear just now, China aspires to ratify the Paris Agreement this year. The US Secretary of State also announced that the United States of America intends to enact the Agreement this year. It was bad news that surface temperatures are increasing faster than we thought, even in Paris. The good news is that in 2015, carbon dioxide emissions caused by energy production have stagnated for the second year running. It was bad news that ever since Man has populated Earth, the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide has been the highest due to the dramatic pollution of earlier years. The good news was that last year the amount of capital invested into renewable energy sources was double the amount spent on fossil sources.
Nature has been sending warning signs every day since Paris. Last year scores of temperature records were broken. It has for example never happened before in Hungary that five heat stress emergencies had to be declared during the space of one year, in fact during one summer. This happened last year. Ice on Antarctica is melting faster than what was forecast even a few years ago. Mega-droughts for the fourth year running in California, rain storm – it is not a slip of the tongue – in Saudi-Arabia, record floods in the United States, Europe and numerous countries in Asia.
Today, during the opening ceremony we saw several images from the Paris Agreement; these were showing moments of joy. I have to say that we have every right to be happy, but we have no reason to celebrate, and we definitely have no reason to sit around on our laurels. I am not saying this with the intent to spoil the party, much more with a view to building on the momentum created in Paris – and here in New York – to carry on, to move forward on the path which we have embarked on a few months ago.