U.S. President Barack Obama has said the new global climate agreement “offers the best chance we have to save the one planet we have” and credited his administration as being a driving force behind the deal.
“I believe this moment can be a turning point for the world,” he said. “We’ve shown that the world has both the will and the ability to take on this challenge.”
Mr. Obama said it will mean less of the carbon pollution that threatens the planet and more economic growth driven by investments in clean energy. He also said the world leaders meeting in Paris “met the moment” and that people can be more confident “the planet will be in better shape for the next generation.”
The president took credit for the successful negotiations. “Today, the American people can be proud because this historic agreement is a tribute to American leadership. Over the past seven years, we’ve transformed the United States into the global leader in fighting climate change.”
Not perfect, targets can be updated
The President said the agreement is not perfect, but sets a framework that will contain periodic reviews and assessments to ensure that countries meet their commitments to curb carbon emissions. As technology advances, targets can be updated over time. The agreement also calls for supporting the most vulnerable nations as they pursue cleaner economic growth.
Top Republicans in Congress dismissed the pact as nothing more than a long-term planning document and said Mr. Obama was making promises he won’t be able to keep. They say his commitment to reduce emissions from U.S. power plants would cost thousands of American jobs and raise electricity costs.