Saturday, December 12, 2015

Obama praises Paris Agreement as strong first step in tackling climate change

The Paris Agreement will not solve climate change, even if all its goals are met, but it is a resounding first step, President Obama said in a speech to the nation Saturday. "We cannot be complacent because of today's agreement," he said. "The problem's not solved because of this accord. But, make no mistake, the Paris Agreement establishes the enduring framework the world needs to solve the climate crisis." The accord offers our "best chance to save the one planet we have," Obama said. Obama celebrated the unanimous passage of the Paris Agreement at the 21st Conference of the Parties in the French capital that concluded Saturday afternoon. The agreement is the first global agreement on climate change in history. So far, 186 countries of the 196 that signed the accord have made commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions. When taken together, those countries account for 95 percent of the globe's greenhouse gases. Parts of the agreement are legally binding, but the agreement will not be ratified by the Senate. According to senior White House officials, the portions of the deal that are legally binding can take effect under executive action. The most important parts of the agreement, funding for developing countries tackling climate change and greenhouse gas emission cuts, are not in the legally binding portion of the agreement. Obama said the American people could be proud of the deal, which includes much of the language and provisions the U.S. delegation sought. "We've transformed the United States into being the global leader on combating climate change," he said...more

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