World leaders seal historic deal to stop global warming
The deal, to take effect from 2020, ends decades-long rows between rich and poor nations over how to carry out what will be a multi-trillion-dollar effort to stop global warming and deal with consequences already occurring.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, COP21 president, declared: "I see the room, I see the reaction is positive, I hear no objection. The Paris climate accord is adopted."
Turning to a little green hammer with symbolized the deal, he said: "It may be a small gavel but it can do big things."
The Paris accord sets a target of limiting warming of the planet to "well below" 2.0 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) compared with the Industrial Revolution, while aiming for an even more ambitious goal of 1.5C.
To do so, the emissions of greenhouse gases will need to peak "as soon as possible", followed by rapid reductions, the agreement states.
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 impacts from climate change.
Without urgent action, they warned of increasingly severe droughts, floods and storms, as well as rising seas that would engulf islands and coastal areas populated by hundreds of millions of people.
The world has already warmed almost 1C, which has caused major problems for many people around the world particularly in developing countries, such as more severe storms, droughts and rising seas, according to scientists. ■