'Over 120 nations' to sign climate deal this month

PARIS • More than 120 countries have said they are ready to sign the United Nations accord to fight global warming, French Ecology Minister Segolene Royal said.

Almost 200 governments reached a landmark agreement last December in Paris that commits all nations to cut emissions blamed for heating up the planet.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon has invited all world leaders to a signing ceremony for the Paris pact on April 22, a move that officials hope will help the accord enter into force this year.

The pact set a target of limiting global warming to "well below" 2 deg C compared to pre-industrial levels.

The pact was hailed as a boost for green energy investment and greater energy efficiency because to meet those goals, the world would have to quickly shift away from polluting fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas.

Ms Royal, who heads the UN's COP21 climate forum and thus plays a key role in brokering agreements, said that 60 heads of state would attend the signing ceremony in New York.

"I fixed an objective... of a hundred signatures, and we are now at over 120 signatures," Ms Royal told reporters in Paris on Wednesday.

The world's top polluters, China, the United States, the European Union and India, have all said that they will sign the pact.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 08, 2016, with the headline ''Over 120 nations' to sign climate deal this month'. Print Edition | Subscribe