Obama Announces Historic Climate Agreement

Obama Announces Historic Climate Agreement

In my first inaugural address, I committed
this country to the tireless task of combating climate change and protecting this planet
for future generations. Two weeks ago, in Paris, I said before the
world that we needed a strong global agreement to accomplish this goal — an enduring agreement
that reduces global carbon pollution and sets the world on a course to a low-carbon future. A few hours ago, we succeeded. We came together around the strong agreement
the world needed. We met the moment. I want to commend President Hollande and Secretary
General Ban for their leadership and for hosting such a successful summit, and French Foreign
Minister Laurent Fabius for presiding with patience and resolve. And I want to give a special thanks to Secretary
John Kerry, my Senior Advisor Brian Deese, our chief negotiator Todd Stern, and everyone
on their teams for their outstanding work and for making America proud. I also want to thank the people of nearly
200 nations — large and small, developed and developing — for working together to
confront a threat to the people of all nations. Together, we’ve shown what’s possible
when the world stands as one. Today, the American people can be proud — because
this historic agreement is a tribute to American leadership. Over the past seven years, we’ve transformed
the United States into the global leader in fighting climate change. In 2009, we helped salvage a chaotic Copenhagen
Summit and established the principle that all countries had a role to play in combating
climate change. We then led by example, with historic investments
in growing industries like wind and solar, creating a new and steady stream of middle-class
jobs. We’ve set the first-ever nationwide standards
to limit the amount of carbon pollution power plants can dump into the air our children
breathe. From Alaska to the Gulf Coast to the Great
Plains, we’ve partnered with local leaders who are working to help their communities
protect themselves from some of the most immediate impacts of a changing climate. Now, skeptics said these actions would kill
jobs. Instead, we’ve seen the longest streak of
private-sector job creation in our history. We’ve driven our economic output to all-time
highs while driving our carbon pollution down to its lowest level in nearly two decades. And then, with our historic joint announcement
with China last year, we showed it was possible to bridge the old divides between developed
and developing nations that had stymied global progress for so long. That accomplishment encouraged dozens and
dozens of other nations to set their own ambitious climate targets. And that was the foundation for success in
Paris. Because no nation, not even one as powerful
as ours, can solve this challenge alone. And no country, no matter how small, can sit
on the sidelines. All of us had to solve it together. Now, no agreement is perfect, including this
one. Negotiations that involve nearly 200 nations
are always challenging. 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. So we cannot be complacent because of today’s
agreement. The problem is not solved because of this
accord. But make no mistake, the Paris agreement establishes
the enduring framework the world needs to solve the climate crisis. 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. We’ll have a strong system of transparency,
including periodic reviews and independent assessments, to help hold every country accountable
for meeting its commitments. 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. 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 investment. 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. 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. And by empowering businesses, scientists,
engineers, workers, and the private sector — investors — to work together, this agreement
represents the best chance we’ve had to save the one planet that we’ve got. So I believe this moment can be a turning
point for the world. 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. While our generation will see some of the
benefits of building a clean energy economy — jobs created and money saved — we may
not live to see the full realization of our achievement. But that’s okay. 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. 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? Today, thanks to strong, principled, American
leadership, that’s the world that we’ll leave to our children — a world that is safer
and more secure, more prosperous, and more free. And that is our most important mission in
our short time here on this Earth. Thanks.

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29 thoughts on “Obama Announces Historic Climate Agreement

  1. Obama is a person who put his birth certificate on his own web site and later his legal team said it was fake and in doing that he describes himself.

  2. Does this mean that they'll just start charging us tax on how much we drive? How much we consume? How many bags of trash we throw out each week?!!
    This better not be about global warming because there is proof that all planets are heating up, and not just this human infested one.
    Also, why don't you make a law that forces gas stations to have an ethanol pump like in Brazil? That made that president famous you know. Let's get rid of our dependence on fossil fuels all together. You might also feel good about your phony global warming crap because ethanol doesn't create green house gasses.

    Co2 may not heat up the planet like they're saying, but emissions do pollute the environment. Screw the oil company's, what about the people.

    Actually do something! I don't wanna wake up to a world where the things I consider basic become a luxury.

  3. he is working on war with Russia that will cool down the earth a lot !!!    I get eye cancer when I see that fool !!

  4. When he says expanding our commitments he's really just commenting on using potential miracles in tech to save the planet. Nothing gradual or major. Which kind of sucks. Hell I even wonder if there are enough materials for every country to be renewably run. I certainly hope so.

  5. "We are like tenant farmers chopping down the fence around our house for fuel when we should be using Nature's inexhaustible sources of energy – sun, wind, and tide. I'd put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don't have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that." -Thomas Edison, 1931

  6. Ugh, I have nothing against Obama as a person but he, as with the rest of the country, astonishingly believes that the American way is always the one leading. It's very annoying. This over patriotic and nationalist attitude has to stop.
    Also, the US is part of the top three greatest producers in carbon dioxide emissions. Act first, then speak.

  7. "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? Today, thanks to strong, principled American leadership, that's the world that we'll leave to our children, a world that is safer and more secure, more prosperous and more free. And that is our most important mission on our short time here on this Earth."
    -President Barack Obama, December 12, 2015

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