Follow Along: A Global Agreement to Act on Climate

Posted by Tanya Somanader
November 30, 2015
President Barack Obama delivers remarks during the COP21, United Nations Climate Change Conference, in Le Bourget, outside Paris, on Monday, Nov. 30, 2015 [AP Photo].

Every day, we are seeing and feeling the effects of climate change -- here and across the globe. It poses a clear and present threat to our economic and national security. No country is immune from the consequences of climate change, and no country can act alone. Right now, we, as people, face a critical moment.

For the first time in history, we have a chance to put in place a global climate agreement that will spur countries to take ambitious action that will reduce carbon pollution, support clean energy, and ensure we deliver a planet that is worthy of future generations. That is why President Obama is heading to Paris on November 29. He will meet with leaders of countries large and small -- the world's largest emitters and the ones that are most at risk -- to find a way we can collectively reduce global emissions.

Under President Obama, we've already taken the lead on the world stage. The President's Clean Power Plan will cut emissions from the U.S. power sector -- which makes up a third of U.S. emissions -- by more than 30 percent by 2030 and save more than $50 billion in climate and health-related costs in the process. It's the largest step the United States has ever taken to combat climate change. 

And under his leadership, other countries are following suit. China, Brazil, and more than 180 countries representing nearly 95 percent of global emissions have announced climate targets, or Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs).

In Paris, he will work with world leaders to secure an agreement that:

  1. Reflects ambitious climate targets from all countries;
  2. Puts in place a long-term framework that incentivizes countries to ratchet down their emissions over time in a transparent way with a view to achieving a low-carbon transformation by the end of the century;
  3. Provides financial and technical support to the poorest and most vulnerable countries. 

In Paris, the President will meet with President Xi of China, Prime Minister Modi of India, and leaders of island nations including the Seychelles, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea, Saint Lucia, and Barbados, to discuss the existential challenge these countries face from rising sea levels.

No agreement can serve as the "silver bullet" to solve climate change. However, this agreement could help ensure that American action is met with global action to reduce the impact of climate change and preserve a planet that is worthy of our children. So check back here to get the latest from Paris, follow @FactsOnClimate, and learn what more you can do to help ensure the world joins the United States to #ActOnClimate

About the Author: Tanya Somanader is the Deputy Director of Digital Content for the Office of Digital Strategy at the White House.

Editor's Note: This blog originally appeared on the White House blog.

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