- Associated Press - Saturday, December 12, 2015

President Obama said the climate agreement reached in Paris by the United States and nearly 200 nations Saturday offers “the best chance to save the one planet we have.”

In a statement delivered Saturday evening from the Cabinet Room, Obama said the leaders from the various nations working in Paris “met the moment” in agreeing to what is being described as the most ambitious climate change agreement in history. He said the world can be more confident this planet is going to be in better shape for the next generation.

“Together, we’ve shown what is possible when the world stands as one,” he said.

Obama said the agreement is not perfect, but sets a framework the world needs to continue tackling global warming in an effective way. He said the agreement will contain periodic reviews and assessments to ensure that countries meet their commitments. 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.

“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,” Obama said.



The climate talks have generated opposition from Republicans who control Congress. They say Obama’s commitment to reduce emissions from U.S. power plants would cost thousands of American jobs and raise electricity costs.


SEE ALSO: Key points of the landmark Paris climate agreement


The U.S. is the world’s second largest climate polluter, and Obama has pledged that the U.S. will cut its overall emissions by 26 percent to 28 percent by 2030.

The climate talks already had run into opposition from Republicans who control Congress. They say Obama’s commitment to reduce emissions from U.S. power plants would cost thousands of American jobs and raise electricity costs.

“We can expect the administration to cite this ‘agreement’ as their excuse for establishing emission targets for every sector of the U.S. economy not only including utilities, but petroleum refining, all manufacturing, agriculture and others,” said Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

Sen. Harry Reid, the Democratic minority leader, said climate change poses one of the the greatest threats the world has ever known, and that no country acting alone can stem the tide.

“The time to act is now,” Nevada’s Reid said.

In Paris, Secretary of State John Kerry praised the new accord on global warming as a deal that will save the world for generations to come.

“it’s a victory for all of the planet and for future generations,” he said.

Kerry told fellow negotiators that “it will help the world prepare for the impacts of climate change that are already here and also for those that we already know are on our way inevitably.” He added the pact would “prevent the worst most devastating consequences of climate change from ever happening.”

More than 190 countries had been negotiating the pact for four years after earlier attempts to reach such a deal failed.

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