LE BOURGET, France (APP) – Cheering envoys from 195 nations on Saturday approved a historic accord in Paris to stop global warming, offering hope that humanity can avert catastrophic climate change and usher in an energy revolution.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius ended nearly a fortnight of gruelling UN negotiations on the outskirts of Paris with the bang of a gavel, marking consensus among the ministers, who stood for several minutes to clap and shout their joy, with some shedding tears of relief.
“I see the room, I see the reaction is positive, I hear no objection. The Paris climate accord is adopted,” declared Fabius, the president of the talks.
The post-2020 Paris Agreement ends decades-long rows between rich and poor nations over how to carry out what will be a multi-trillion-dollar campaign to cap global warming and cope with the impact of a shifting climate.
With 2015 forecast to be the hottest year on record, world leaders and scientists had said the accord was vital for capping rising temperatures and averting the most calamitous effects of climate change.
Without urgent action, they warned, mankind faced increasingly severe droughts, floods and storms, and rising seas that would engulf islands and coastal areas populated by hundreds of millions of people.
“The Paris agreement establishes the enduring framework the world needs to solve the climate crisis,” US President Barack Obama said. “We came together around the strong agreement the world needed. We
met the moment.” German Chancellor Angela Merkel added: “Paris will always be connected with this historic turning point in climate policy.”
The crux of the fight entails slashing or eliminating the use of coal, oil and gas for energy, which has largely powered prosperity since the Industrial Revolution.
The burning of those fossil fuels releases invisible greenhouse gases, which cause the planet to warm and disrupt Earth’s delicate climate system.