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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
    PARADISE (San Diego)

    196 countries approve historic climate agreement

    196 countries approve historic climate agreement

    By Joby Warrick and Chris Mooney December 12 at 2:22 PM
    Play Video1:31
    World climate accord hailed as historic turning point

    After weeks of negotiations diplomats in France unveiled a landmark deal to tackle climate change and reduce greenhouse gases. If adopted, the accord aims to limit the rise in global temperatures to less than two degrees Celsius. (Reuters)

    LE BOURGET, France — Negotiators from 196 countries approved a landmark climate accord on Saturday that seeks to dramatically reduce emissions of the greenhouse gases blamed for a dangerous warming of the planet.

    The agreement, adopted after 13 days of intense bargaining in a Paris suburb, puts the world’s nations on a course that could fundamentally change the way energy is produced and consumed, gradually reducing reliance of fossil fuels in favor of cleaner forms of energy.

    [Read the text of the draft climate agreement here.]

    French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who presided over the talks, hailed the pact as a “historical turning point” that could spare the planet’s 7.3 billion people from the most disruptive effects of global warming in decades to come. Before the vote, he urged delegates not to shirk from taking steps that could avert an environmental disaster.

    Humans’ staggering effect on Earth

    View Photos
    Images of consumption are the theme of the book, “Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot.” It addresses environmental deterioration through subjects including materialism, consumption, pollution, fossil fuels and carbon footprints.

    “The citizens of the world – our own citizens – and our children would not understand it. Nor, I believe, would they forgive us,” Fabius said.

    The delegates erupted in applause as Fabius banged a small gavel to officially mark approval of the agreement.

    “It is a small gavel but it can do a great job,” he said.

    Cheers echoed up and down the tent city where thousands of journalists, activists and business leaders awaited news of the deal, which was sealed during the final 48 hours of marathon talks.

    [196 ountries just agreed to a historic climate deal. Here’s what happens next.]

    “This is a pivotal moment where nations stepped across political fault lines to collectively face down climate change,” said Lou Leonard, vice president of climate change for the World Wildlife Federation. “For decades, we have heard that large developing nations don’t care about climate change and aren’t acting fast enough. The climate talks in Paris showed us that this false narrative now belongs in the dustbin of history.”

    Among those witnessing the final approval was former Vice President Al Gore, who had pressed for two decades for a climate deal.

    “Years from now, our grandchildren will reflect on humanity’s moral courage to solve the climate crisis and they will look to December 12, 2015, as the day when the community of nations finally made the decision to act,” Gore said. “This universal and ambitious agreement sends a clear signal to governments, businesses, and investors everywhere: the transformation of our global economy from one fueled by dirty energy to one fueled by sustainable economic growth is now firmly and inevitably underway.”

    The accord is intended to mobilize governments and private industry for a decades-long campaign to slash pollution and keep temperatures from rising by more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above historical averages. To protect the countries most vulnerable to climate change, the pact calls for “pursuing efforts” to limit the temperature rise to no more than 1.5 degrees C—a far more challenging task, since the planet is already expected to cross that line by the middle of the century.

    [Ice worlds face extinction in warming planet]

    The accord is the first to call on all nations—rich and poor—to take action to limit emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. While each country’s commitment is voluntary, the pledges are bound within a framework that includes unprecedented measures for reporting and monitoring to guard against cheating. It also contains extensive financial provisions to help poorer countries obtain clean-energy technology and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

    The agreement is a major diplomatic achievement for the Obama administration, which has made climate change a signature issue in the face of determined opposition from congressional Republicans, many of whom dispute the scientific consensus that links man-made pollution to the Earth’s recent warming.

    President Obama helped set the stage for the agreement by forging a deal with China last year to work jointly to scale back emissions from their two countries, the world’s two biggest emitters of greenhouse gases. U.S. officials also helped engineer the accord’s unusual “bottom-up” structure, which, by relying on voluntary pledges to cut emissions, spares the White House from having to seek formal approval from a hostile Congress.

    [Tiny islands become driving force at Paris climate talks]

    Officials acknowledged that the compromise accord is insufficient, by itself, to prevent global temperatures from rising by more than 2 degrees C [3.6 degrees F] above pre-industrial averages, an increase that many scientists believe is the maximum amount of warming the planet can sustain without massive disruptions in natural ecosystems. But the treaty is structured to allow nations to adopt more ambitious cuts in emissions as new technology becomes available.

    “There is an ambitious but necessary long-term objective,” Fabius said.

    “The reduction of greenhouse gases have become the business of all.”


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  2. #2
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
    Images of consumption are the theme of the book, “Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot.”
    Overpopulation is the single greatest threat to our environment. We've all known that. It's also the greatest threat to freedom and peace.

    Also, new development instead of re-development removes without a valid cause or reason precious farms, forests and habitat. I hope people will keep this mind as they plan their families and developers will keep this in mind when they plan their developments.
    A Nation Without Borders Is Not A Nation - Ronald Reagan
    Save America, Deport Congress! - Judy

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