The world leaders led by US President Barack Obama on Sunday welcomed the adoption of a legally-binding pact seeking to limit > global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius , calling it a big step forward in securing the planet for future generations.
Lauding the efforts of the negotiators in securing the hard-fought deal, Mr. Obama said the agreement shows what’s possible when nations stand together.
“This agreement represents the best chance we’ve had to save the one planet we’ve got. I believe this moment can be a turning point for the world,” Mr. Obama said in an address to the nation from the White House.
“As a result of the climate agreement we can be more confident the Earth will be in better shape,” he said.
French President Francois Hollande termed the day as a great date for the planet.
“In Paris, there have been many revolutions over the centuries. Today it is the most beautiful and the most peaceful revolution that has just been accomplished,” he said.
The international deal on limiting climate change represents “a huge step forward in securing the future of the planet”, British Prime Minister David Cameron has said.
The deal, which attempts to limit the rise in global temperatures to less than 2C, was approved by all 195 countries at a summit in Paris.
Mr. Cameron said it showed what “unity, ambition and perseverance can do”.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed the deal, saying it will oblige the entire global community to act against global climate change.
“Despite the fact that a great deal of work is still lying ahead, it is a sign of hope that we will be able to preserve conditions for living for billions of people in future,” the chancellor stressed.
UN chief Ban Ki-moon termed the agreement as a “monumental triumph” for planet Earth that will set the stage for achieving an end to poverty and development for all.
“In the face of an unprecedented challenge, you have demonstrated unprecedented leadership,” the UN Secretary General said taking the CoP21 stage just minutes after the adoption of the agreement.
“You have worked collaboratively to achieve something that no one nation could achieve alone. This is a resounding success for multilateralism.”
In a landmark deal, 195 Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change pledged to curb emissions, strengthen resilience and take common climate action.
China termed the pact as “a new beginning in international cooperation”.
The pact is fair in splitting responsibility between developed and developing countries, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei said.
China’s Special Representative on Climate Change Xie Zhenhua said, “The Paris Climate Conference is a crucial point in the global climate governance process. The outcome has a bearing with the undertaking of climate change of the human being and our future of sustainable development.”
“Although the agreement is not perfect, it does not stop us from moving a historical step forwards,” Xie said, calling on developed countries to abide by their promises to provide finance, technology development and transfer, and capacity building to developing countries.
According to Russian envoy at climate talks, the Paris accords show a significant progress in curbing climate issues but the deal requires a serious work on its implementation.
“I want to confirm Russia’s commitment to the reached agreement, our determination to continue strengthening our actions to reduce the anthropogenic pressure on the environment in accordance with the principles of the Paris Agreement and in the interests of present and future generations of our planet,” Alexander Bedritsky said.
The World Bank welcomed the “historic” agreement, saying it reflects aspiration and seriousness to preserve the planet for future generations.
World Bank President Jim Young Kim said the Paris agreement left no one behind — protecting the poorest people and the most vulnerable countries by calling on all to hold the increase in temperatures to well below 2 degrees Celsius and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The World Bank Group is ready to help immediately and will do its utmost to realise this vision of prosperity, he added.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde said that the Paris Agreement is a critical step forward for addressing the challenge of global climate change in the 21st century.
“Governments must now put words into actions, in particular by implementing policies that make effective progress on the mitigation pledges they have made,” Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said.
“This is a pivotal moment. No country would see this as the perfect outcome. Certainly it does not include everything that we envisaged. However, this agreement does give us a strategy to work over coming years and decade to build the strong and effective action the world needs,” she said.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said, “This robust agreement will steer the world towards a global clean energy transition.”
“Today the world is united in the fight against climate change. Today the world gets a lifeline, a last chance to hand over to future generations a world that is more stable, a healthier planet, fairer societies and more prosperous economies,” he said.
Road to curb temperature rises
The goal of the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, COP21, is to achieve a legally binding, international agreement to keep average global temperatures no more than 2°C above pre-industrial temperatures*
Global mean temperatures above pre-industrial levels
- 1850-1900 Average temperature 13.7°C
- 1.0°C Temperature rise expected to surpass 1°C in 2015
- 2.7°C Forecast warming† by 2100 even if all COP21 pledges are implemented
- 4-5°C Forecast rise by 2060 if current emissions levels continue
- 2.0°C 2010: 193 nations sign Cancun Agreements committing governments to “hold increase in global average temperature below 2°C above pre-industrial levels”
- 3-5°C Warming on existing emissions-reduction policies. Low-lying island states at risk from rising sea levels
*Accurate assessment of temperatures in 1750s – when industrial revolution began – is difficult. To overcome problem, climatologists use average temperatures recorded between 1850 and 1900. †United Nations Synthesis report on aggregate effect of Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs)
Sources: UK Met. Office Hadley Centre, Climate Action Tracker, WMO - © GRAPHIC NEWS