Laos has joined forces with other nations to promote low-carbon growth and a more sustainable future under the Paris Agreement which will enter into force at the end of this year.
Since the Paris Agreement will serve as a legal instrument for countries to combat climate change, Laos is the first country among Southeast Asian nations to ratify the landmark deal.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon convened a special high-level event on Wednesday at the UN Headquarters in New York which was also attended by Lao Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Saleumxay Kommasith.
At the event, 31 additional countries deposited their instruments of ratification for the agreement, bringing the total to 60 countries that together represent more than 47.5 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
Among the 31 nations were three ASEAN member states – Brunei Darussalam, Singapore and Thailand.
The high-level event also provided an opportunity to other countries to publicly commit to joining the Paris Agreement before the end of this year.
The Paris Agreement calls on countries in the world to accelerate and intensify the actions and investments needed for a sustainable low-carbon future, and to adapt to the increasing impacts of climate change.
Specifically, it seeks to limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius, and to strive for 1.5 degrees Celsius, according to a UN report.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the global climate agreement would accelerate the growth of clean energy, help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, strengthen international stability and security, save lives and improve human well-being.
The remarkable support for this agreement reflects the urgency and magnitude of the challenge. Emissions continue to rise. So does the global thermostat and the risks, the UN chief said.
Climate impacts are increasing. No nation or community is immune, but the vulnerable are feeling the effects first and worst.
Laos is not exempt from the impacts of climate change despite being a land-locked country. In recent years, Laos has experienced severe flooding and drought, affecting livelihoods and socio-economic development.
The government is working in cooperation with friendly nations and international organisations to respond to climate change and focusing on sustainable use of natural resources.
The 31 countries depositing their instruments of ratification at Wednesday’s event in New York were: Albania, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bangladesh, Belarus, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Dominica, Ghana, Guinea, Honduras, Iceland, Kiribati, Madagascar, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Namibia, Niger, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Senegal, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Thailand, Tonga, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, and Vanuatu.
Some 14 countries announced their commitment to join the Agreement in 2016: Austria, Australia, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, France, Germany, Hungary, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, Poland, and the Republic of Korea; along with the European Union.
Source: Vientiane Times