Paris agreement represents “best chance” to save planet: Obama
Washington : US President Barack Obama has said the adoption of a landmark climate change deal in Paris is a “turning point” for the world and represents the “best chance” for mankind to save the planet.
Lauding the efforts of the negotiators, 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,” Obama said in an address to the nation from the White House yesterday.
“As a result of the climate agreement we can be more confident the Earth will be in better shape,” he said.
Obama, for whom the subject of climate change is close to heart, met key world leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.
And this week, he spoke over phone for about an hour with Modi and half an hour with his Chinese counterpart.
“What matters is that today, we can be more confident that this planet is going to be in better shape for the next generation. This agreement is ambitious, with every nation setting and committing to their own specific targets,” he added.
Observing that UN Climate Summit has come together around a strong agreement the world needed, Obama said, “Make no mistake, the Paris Agreement establishes the enduring framework the world needs to solve the climate crisis.”
Asserting that the Paris agreement is a “tribute to American leadership,” Obama also conceded that “no agreement is perfect – including this one.”
“Even if all the initial targets set in Paris are met, we’ll only be part of the way there when it comes to reducing carbon from the atmosphere,” Obama said adding that the agreement is still ambitious, with every nation committing to their own specific targets.
“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,” he said.
Noting that the agreement sends a powerful signal that the world is firmly committed to a low-carbon future, Obama said, “The targets we’ve set are bold”.
“While our generation will see some of the benefits of building a clean energy economy, we may not live to see the full realisation of our achievement- but that’s okay,” he said.
“What matters is that today, we can be more confident that this planet is going to be in better shape for the next generation, and that’s what I care about,” he said.
Obama said the strong Paris agreement on climate means a safer, more secure world for our kids.
“A perfect example of what American leadership can do. We’ve shown that the world has both the will and the ability to take on this challenge. It won’t be easy. Progress won’t always come quick. We cannot be complacent,” Obama said.
“I imagine taking my grandkids, if I’m lucky enough to have some, to the park someday, and holding their hands, and hearing their laughter, and watching a quiet sunset, all the while knowing that our work today prevented an alternate future that could have been grim; that our work, here and now, gave future generations cleaner air, and cleaner water, and a more sustainable planet. And what could be more important than that?” Obama said.
This agreement will mean less of the carbon pollution that threatens the planet, and more of the jobs and economic growth driven by low-carbon investment, he said.
Full implementation of this agreement will help delay or avoid some of the worst consequences of climate change, and will pave the way for even more progress in successive stages over the coming years, he added.
“Moreover, this agreement sends a powerful signal that the world is firmly committed to a low-carbon future. And that has the potential to unleash investment and innovation in clean energy at a scale we have never seen before. The targets we’ve set are bold,” Obama said.
The Paris agreement establishes the enduring framework that the world needs to solve the climate crisis, he said.
“It creates the mechanism, the architecture, for us to continually tackle this problem in an effective way. This agreement is ambitious, with every nation setting and committing to their own specific targets, even as we take into account differences among nations,” Obama said.
“We’ll have a strong system of transparency, including periodic reviews and independent assessments, to help hold every country accountable for meeting its commitments,” he said.
“As technology advances, this agreement allows progress to pave the way for even more ambitious targets over time. And we have secured a broader commitment to support the most vulnerable countries as they pursue cleaner economic growth,” he added.