United Nations - Paris Climate Change Agreement Enters into Force, November 2016

Winnie Byanyima, Oxfam International - UN SG meets with civil society on Paris Agreement

The landmark Paris Agreement to address climate change, adopted by world leaders in December 2015 at the Climate Conference in Paris (COP21), officially entered into force on 4 November - a historic moment, and a sign that world leaders are willing to put aside differences and work together towards overcoming the threat of climate change.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon invited representatives of civil society groups to a meeting on the occasion - to share with the Secretary-General how their organizations will contribute to the objectives of the Paris Agreement, as well as their concerns and their vision.

A video of Ms Byanyima's remarks can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWtt-h7esW8

A transcript of Ms Byanyima's remarks can be found below.



In Paris, governments – led by the ambition of the developing countries – struck an historic agreement.

As it enters into force, the real test is whether it delivers for those people least responsible for climate emissions. 

It is the poorest and particularly women on the frontlines who are suffering most as a result of the emissions of the richest: women smallholder farmers like those in Zimbabwe, who Oxfam works with.

Today about 40 million people in Southern Africa are at risk of hunger because of an El Nino which is supercharged by climate change.

At Oxfam we're playing our part. We’re supporting those communities, and we're holding governments accountable for the climate finance commitments they have made. 


Our new research shows just 16 percent of total climate funds is going to adaptation. Less than one fifth of climate finance is reaching the poorest people.

That is costing lives.

Secretary-General, the spirit of Paris must persevere.

It must compel governments to do more to prioritize climate adaptation and the needs of the poorest people. They did the least to cause the climate crisis. 

Thank you.