The symbolic photo opportunity is designed to remind the public of its duty to protect the health of future generations.
“We will do our part, we will live up to our responsibility to future generations, and together, citizens of the world, we will work to save our planet from ourselves.” Kerry remarked during the opening ceremony.
Kerry hoisted his granddaughter on his lap in front of a large assembly gathered for the signing ceremony and kissed her on the cheek after adding his signature on behalf of the United States.
Isabelle Dobbs-Higginson is the only child of Kerry’s eldest daughter, Alexandra Kerry, and her husband, Julian Dobbs-Higginson.
Over 150 nations signed the agreement agreed upon in Paris last year which aims to limit the Earth’s temperature to 2 degrees centigrade and combat greenhouse gas emissions.
The United Nations said 175 states took the first step of signing the deal out of which fifteen states have informed the UN that they had ratified the deal.
China and the United States, the world’s top producers of greenhouse gas emissions, pledged to formally adopt the deal by the end of the year raising the prospects of it being enforced much faster than anticipated.
Many countries still need a parliamentary vote to formally approve the agreement which was reached in December. The deal will enter into force only when ratified by at least 55 nations representing 55 percent of man-made greenhouse gas emissions. China and the United States together account for 38 percent of global emissions.
President Barack Obama will formally adopt the agreement through executive authority, bypassing Congress lead by Republicans who are skeptical of the deal. It is also critical to lock the deal incase if a Republican succeeds the President in November.
“China will finalize domestic legal procedures on its accession before the G20 Hangzhou summit in September this year,” China’s Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli told the U.N. signing ceremony.
The first three months of 2016 have broken temperature records and last year was the warmest year since records with heat waves, droughts and rising sea levels.