Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for global efforts in implementing the crucial Paris climate agreement, which came into force in November 2016. His remarks were seen as a direct call to incoming US President Donald Trump who had threatened to withdraw from the deal, calling climatic concerns a "hoax".
Speaking to the United Nations in Geneva, two days ahead of Trump's inauguration, Xi said: "The Paris agreement is a milestone in the history of climate governance. We must ensure this endeavour is not derailed."
Xi talked about the advances made by mankind over the past centuries in terms of economic growth and putting an end to years of "bloody hot wars and the chilling Cold War". He also mentioned the concerns flagged by several leaders during his recent visit to the World Economic Forum in Davos, who said that "today's world is full of uncertainties and that people long for a bright future but are bewildered about what will come".
Highlighting the climatic concerns shared by almost all the nations in the world, he said: "There is only one Earth in the universe and we mankind have only one homeland.
"Stephen Hawking has raised the proposition about a 'parallel universe', hoping to find another place in the universe where mankind could live. We do not know when his wish will come true. Until today, Earth is still the only home to mankind, so to care for and cherish it is the only option for us mankind," he said, according to a transcript of his speech published by Xinhua news agency.
"All parties should work together to implement the Paris agreement. China will continue to take steps to tackle climate change and fully honour its obligations," Xi said, reiterating Beijing's commitment towards playing a lead role in protecting the climate.