In a historic achievement including nearly 200 countries, world leaders have finally reached a climate agreement in Paris. Cheers and applause rang out in the hall after the gavel fell, marking an end to the tension over talks that have been ongoing for weeks and a deal has been decades in the making. The agreement has required a careful dance of compromise and cooperation and sets an ambitious goal of halting warming at 2 degrees Celsius, with measures to aim for 1.5 degrees.
Talks began on November 30 with leaders from 195 countries around the world attending. Negotiations extended past the Friday deadline as leaders worked to get the agreement exactly right. One of the major points of debate was whether to stick a 2 degree goal, which many scientists say is the absolute tipping point, or aim for a 1.5 degree goal, which could be vital for areas already feeling the impact of climate change. The agreement is being touted as “the single most important collective action for addressing climate change ever agreed upon.”
In past years, and this year as well, negotiators struggled over how to address the issue of how wealthier (and more emissions-causing) nations will help poorer nations make the changes necessary to reduce emissions. Some are critical of the deal, saying that it doesn’t go far enough to halt warming. You can read Inhabitat’s previous coverage of the Paris Summit here. You can read a full draft of the agreement here.