Fresh from meetings with US businesses in California, Royal held talks with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York yesterday to discuss how to move quickly to implement the deal on curbing greenhouse gas emissions.

A formal signing ceremony will be held at the United Nations on April 22, Earth Day.

Invitations are going out this month for the formal signing ceremony that France and the UN hope will be attended by heads of states or governments to 'maintain a high-level commitment' to the agreement.

"It is very important that Europe remain at the forefront and be an example for the transition to clean energy," she said.

The historical agreement reached last month will come into effect by 2020, once at least 55 countries responsible for 55 percent of global greenhouse gases ratify the accord.

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