After two weeks of intense negotiations in Paris, representatives of nearly 200 countries reached a binding agreement on Saturday evening that set ambitious goals to limit temperature rises and to hold governments to account for reaching those targets.
The deal, which is partly legally-binding and partially voluntary, commits all participating countries to cutting carbon emissions.
“I now invite COP to adopt the decision entitled Paris Agreement outlined in the document,” President of the UN climate conference and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said. “Looking out to the room, I see that the reaction is positive, I see no objections. The Paris agreement is adopted”.
The final draft stipulates limiting greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible and achieving a balance between sources and sinks of greenhouse gases in the second half of this century.
It also includes maintaining global temperature at “well below” 2C (3.6F) and pursuing efforts to limit them to 1.5C, while reviewing progress every five years.
A total of $100bn will be invested every year in climate financing for developing countries by 2020, with a commitment to further financing in the future.
“The best chance we have is to save the one planet,” US President Barack Obama said and that it could be a “turning point” for the world to take on the challenge of a low-carbon future. However, he admitted that the pact was not “perfect”.
Egyptian Minister of Environment Khaled Fahmy described the agreement as “balanced”, according to MENA news agency. The positive thing about the agreement is that it addressed the balance between mitigation and adaptation and that the mitigation elements pertain to developing countries, focusing on the funds that those countries will receive.
The agreement put a framework for action to confront the phenomenon of global warming, obliging developed countries to lead efforts to combat climate change issues, according to Fahmy.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and his French counterpart François Hollande had discussed on Saturday the latest development in shaping an international agreement regarding climate change.
Al-Sisi asserted the importance of reaching a fair and balanced agreement, taking into consideration that Africa contributes the least amount of production of harmful emission, according to a presidency statement.