WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is portraying the global warming pact reached in Paris on Saturday as the strong agreement the world needed to confront a threat to the people of all nations.
Obama, speaking from the White House, said the leaders from nearly 200 nations working in Paris “met the moment” in agreeing to what is being described as the most ambitious climate change agreement in history. He said the world can be more confident this planet is going to be in better shape for the next generation.
“Together we’ve shown what is possible when the world stands as one,” Obama said.
Obama said the agreement is not perfect, but sets a framework the world needs to continue tackling global warming in an effective way. He said the agreement will contain periodic reviews and assessments to ensure that countries meet their commitments. As technology advances, targets can be updated over time. The agreement also calls for supporting the most vulnerable nations 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 investments,” Obama said.
The climate talks have generated opposition from Republicans who control Congress. They say Obama’s commitment to reduce emissions from U.S. power plants would cost thousands of American jobs and raise electricity costs.
“We can expect the administration to cite this `agreement’ as their excuse for establishing emission targets for every sector of the U.S. economy not only including utilities, but petroleum refining, all manufacturing, agriculture and others,” said Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
Sen. Harry Reid, the Democratic minority leader, said climate change poses one of the the greatest threats the world has ever known, and that no country acting alone can stem the tide.
“The time to act is now,” Nevada’s Reid said.