Barack Obama: Paris Climate Deal Is World’s Best Chance
President Barack Obama has said the climate deal reached at Paris summit is “the best chance we have to save the one planet we have”.
He said it could be a “turning point” for the world to take on the challenge of a low-carbon future.
China, the world’s biggest polluter, also hailed the deal. However, some campaigners said it did not go far enough to protect the planet.
The Paris Agreement aims to curb global warming to less than 2C (3.6F)
Nearly 200 countries took part in tense negotiations in Paris over two weeks, striking the first deal to commit all nations to cut emissions.
The agreement – which is partly legally binding and partly voluntary – will come into being in 2020.
Describing the agreement as “ambitious”, Barack Obama said: “Together, we’ve shown what’s possible when the world stands as one.
“In short, this agreement will mean less of the carbon pollution that threatens our planet and more of the jobs and economic growth driven by low-carbon investments.”
However, the US president admitted that the pact was not “perfect”.
China’s chief negotiator Xie Zhenhua agreed that the Paris plan was not ideal. But he added that “this does not prevent us from marching historical steps forward”.
China earlier said rich developed countries needed to offer more financial support to developing countries.
Giza Gaspar Martins, the chairman of the group representing some of the world’s poorest countries, said: “It is the best outcome we could have hoped for, not just for the Least Developed Countries, but for all citizens of the world.”
However, Nick Dearden, director of campaign group Global Justice Now, said: “It’s outrageous that the deal that’s on the table is being spun as a success when it undermines the rights of the world’s most vulnerable communities and has almost nothing binding to ensure a safe and liveable climate for future generations.”
Some aspects of the agreement will be legally binding, such as submitting an emissions reduction target and the regular review of that goal.
However, the targets set by nations will not be binding under the deal struck in Paris.