Welcoming the news that the Paris agreement on climate change will enter into force in 30 days, US President Barack Obama has termed it as a “turning point” for protecting the planet for future generations by avoiding some of the worst consequences of global warming.
“Today is a historic day in the fight to protect our planet for future generations…Today, the world has officially crossed the threshold for the Paris Agreement to take effect. Today, the world meets the moment. And if we follow through on the commitments that this agreement embodies, history may well judge it as a turning point for our planet,” Obama said in his remarks at the Rose Garden of the White House yesterday.
At the same time, Obama said Paris Agreement alone will not solve the climate crisis.
“Even if we meet every target embodied in the agreement, we’ll only get to part of where we need to go. But make no mistake, this agreement will help delay or avoid some of the worst consequences of climate change,” he argued.
“It will help other nations ratchet down their dangerous carbon emissions over time, and set bolder targets as technology advances, all under a strong system of transparency that allows each nation to evaluate the progress of all other nations,” he added.
“And by sending a signal that this is going to be our future — a clean energy future — it opens up the floodgates for businesses, and scientists, and engineers to unleash high-tech, low-carbon investment and innovation at a scale that we’ve never seen before,” Obama asserted.
In a statement, the US Secretary of State John Kerry said enough countries – representing enough of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions – have submitted their instruments to formally join the agreement.
The Paris Agreement will enter into force in 30 days, he said.
“For many years, scientists have been warning us that climate change is real, it is happening now, and, barring global action to change the course our planet is on, it will have devastating impacts in nearly every corner of the world,” he said.
“Today it is crystal clear that we have finally woken up,” Kerry said.
“The reason we were able to pass the required threshold so early is that many of the largest emitters in the world – including the United States, China, India, the EU and a number of its member states – recognised the need to continue the momentum from Paris and joined swiftly to bring this Agreement into force as quickly as possible,” he said.
In a statement, the Trump campaign slammed Obama administration for the climate change deal, which it alleged would harm US economic interests.
“Politicians like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton continue to make bad deals that undermine the interests of the American people. The Paris Accord is just the latest example,” it said.