World leaders near to a global climate agreement

COP21 President and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told the assembled delegates that the conference was close to a final outcome

Melt runoff from Exit Glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park. About ten years ago, this spot would have still been part of the glacier. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
 Le Bourget-Paris, France, December 12, 2015 – French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, and French President Francois Hollande expressed satisfaction with a draft global climate agreement that was released this afternoon to representatives of the 195 nations participating in the UNFCCC’s COP21 global climate talks.

COP21 President and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told the assembled delegates that the conference was close to a final outcome and that the draft agreement was historic, ambitious, powerful, fair, binding, and balanced.

“It will enable each delegate to go back home with his head held high, having achieved something important,” he asserted.

By contrast, he stated,

“If we fail to adopt the agreement, our children would not understand this nor would they forgive us.”°

The draft agreement is supposed to keep global temperature from increasing by more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels and below 1.5°C if possible.

Believers and Non-believers: Our Global Warming Problem

According to climate scientists, however, the new draft agreement will permit global temperatures to increase 2.7-3.7°C, unless currently submitted national emissions reduction targets are significantly strengthened in subsequent proceedings.

Without the draft agreement, however, temperatures would rise even more.

“We have come to a defining moment on a long journey that dates back decades,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon thus told the conference. “The whole world is watching. Billions of people are relying on your wisdom.”

“The time has come to recognize that. . . nature is sending urgent signals. . . We have to do as the science dictates,” the Secretary-General said in urging delegates to protect the climate, and seize the “immense opportunities” that the transition to a clean, climate-safe future offers.

President of the Republic François Hollande told conference delegates,

“There is only one question. Do we want an agreement? We have to take that last step to enable us to reach our goal.” Calling the draft text of the agreement ambitious but realistic, he said it recognizes the responsibility of the rich nations and gives developing countries “the mechanisms they have been promised.”

“This text will be the first universal climate agreement in history,” President Hollande said. “You’ll make a choice for your country, your continent, and the world.”


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