President Dalia Grybauskaitė

The President will sign agreement on climate change in New York

2016-04-21

Thursday, April 21, Berlin – President Dalia Grybauskaitė left for a working visit to the United States of America to attend the signing ceremony of the Paris agreement on climate change at the UN headquarters in New York on Friday, April 22.  

The legally binding agreement among 195 states to reduce climate change was reached at the UN conference in Paris last December. Under this agreement all countries pledge to take long-term action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The agreement includes the objective to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C and pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

“The effect of climate change is evident: it causes floods in some regions and the expansion of deserts, droughts and even hunger in others. This is also one of the causes of migration. The agreement on climate change is an important step that can hold the speed of warming. The whole world suffers from the consequences, some countries more painfully while others – less; however, we all need to deal with this,” the President said.

Lithuania also feels the consequences of climate change – over fifty years, average air temperature in winter has risen by 1.2°C and the number of days when temperature reaches +30°C has almost quadrupled. Over the period of fifty years, the level of the Baltic Sea in the Klaipėda Strait has increased by 15 centimeters; therefore, we can see the dunes of Palanga increasingly washed out every year.

Lithuania not only supports the Paris agreement and will contribute responsibly to its implementation but it is also one of the success stories for the world. We are capable of combining growth, energy security and environmental protection. Over a twenty five-year period, greenhouse gas emissions have more than halved in Lithuania while GDP has increased by 30 percent during that period. Our country is already producing almost a quarter of energy from renewable energy resources and is introducing less-polluting technologies. Along with the LNG terminal and energy interconnections, the use of renewable sources contributes to the diversification of the supply of energy resources.

The EU’s climate change goals for 2030 were also endorsed at the European Council back in 2014 – EU countries took on the obligation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 percent. The European Commission will be able to bring infringement proceedings against those member states which do not fulfill their obligations.

The agreement on climate change binds developed countries to allocate 100 billion U.S. dollars in financial support for developing countries by 2025. Countries will have to submit national reports annually while progress will be assessed and updated national obligations will be presented every five years.

At the United Nations, the President will also raise issues regarding the energy security of Lithuania – the project of the gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 which increases the EU’s dependence on Gazprom and the construction of the Astravyets nuclear power plant.

Press Service of the President

Last updated 2016.04.21 17:44

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