U.S. President Barack Obama on Saturday said that the landmark climate agreement that was reached in Paris was the best chance to save the planet of further climate change and global warming.
According to Reuters, Obama said that he is glad that everyone can see that the world can stand united over an issue and said “Today the American people can be proud because this historic agreement is a tribute to the American leadership. Over the past seven years, we have transformed the United States into the global leader in fighting climate change. This agreement represents the best chance we have to save the one planet that we have got.”
Obama said that the agreement is of course not perfect, because the negotiations included almost 200 countries worldwide and that these kinds of negotiations were always hard. He said “Even if all the initial targets set in Paris are met, we will only be part of the way there when it comes to reducing carbon from the atmosphere.”
The President has made climate change and reducing carbon emissions part of his top priorities, however his efforts have been met by opposition by Republicans in Congress.
Jim Inhofe, a Republican and a climate change denier who leads the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee said that the agreement is not significant for the United States, just as the Kyoto Protocol from 1997, signed by Democratic President Bill Clinton. According to Reuters, he said “Senate leadership has already been outspoken in its positions that the United States is not legally bound to any agreement setting emissions targets or any financial commitment to it without approval by Congress.”
Despite Republican opposition to science regarding climate change and global warming, a lot of people are praising the deal. Democratic Presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton has issued a statement applauding the deal. She stated “We cannot afford to be slowed by the climate skeptics or deterred by the defeatists who doubt America’s ability to meet this challenge.”
Clinton has been calling for curbing carbon emission and has proposed a comprehensive climate plan for the next couple of decades if she were elected President of the United States.
Another Democrat that has joined the President in urging the American people to call their legislators and convince them that climate change is real is Representative Raul Grijalva, from the House Committee on Natural Resources. According to Reuters, he said “Too many people have spent their careers pretending that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by shadowy environmental groups and Machiavellian research scientists. The American public knows full well that is not the case.”
The Paris climate agreement is not a fully binding treaty, which means it would have to pass in the United States Congress.