Saturday saw the long-awaited COP21 UN climate summit succeed in adopting a new climate change agreement, causing a frenzy of responses from officials, businesses, and climate organisations around the world. Below are several notable responses.
“In my first inaugural address, I committed this country to the tireless task of combating climate change and protecting this planet for future generations,” said US President Barack Obama in his statement. “Two weeks ago, in Paris, I said before the world that we needed a strong global agreement to accomplish this goal — an enduring agreement that reduces global carbon pollution and sets the world on a course to a low-carbon future.
“A few hours ago, we succeeded. We came together around the strong agreement the world needed. We met the moment.
“Now, no agreement is perfect, including this one. Negotiations that involve nearly 200 nations are always challenging. Even if all the initial targets set in Paris are met, we’ll only be part of the way there when it comes to reducing carbon from the atmosphere. So we cannot be complacent because of today’s agreement. The problem is not solved because of this accord. But make no mistake, the Paris agreement establishes the enduring framework the world needs to solve the climate crisis. It creates the mechanism, the architecture, for us to continually tackle this problem in an effective way.
“This agreement is ambitious, with every nation setting and committing to their own specific targets, even as we take into account differences among nations. We’ll have a strong system of transparency, including periodic reviews and independent assessments, to help hold every country accountable for meeting its commitments. As technology advances, this agreement allows progress to pave the way for even more ambitious targets over time. And we have secured a broader commitment to support the most vulnerable countries as they pursue cleaner economic growth.
“In short, this agreement will mean less of the carbon pollution that threatens our planet, and more of the jobs and economic growth driven by low-carbon investment. Full implementation of this agreement will help delay or avoid some of the worst consequences of climate change, and will pave the way for even more progress, in successive stages, over the coming years.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said: “Paris will always be connected with this historic turning point in climate policy.”
“Deliberations at #COP21 & #ParisAgreement demonstrates the collective wisdom of world leaders to mitigate #ClimateChange,” said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, via Twitter.
“#ClimateChange remains a challenge but #ParisAgreement demonstrates how every nation rose to the challenge, working towards a solution.”
“Outcome of #ParisAgreement has no winners or losers. Climate justice has won & we are all working towards a greener future.”
“In striking this deal, the nations of the world have shown what unity, ambition and perseverance can do,” said UK Prime Minister David Cameron. “Britain is already leading the way in work to cut emissions and help less developed countries cut theirs – and this global deal now means that the whole world has signed to play its part in halting climate change. It’s a moment to remember and a huge step forward in helping to secure the future of our planet.”
“We have witnessed an important step forward, with an unprecedented number of countries agreeing to a deal to limit global temperature rises and avoid the worst impacts of climate change,” said Amber Rudd, the UK’s Energy and Climate Change Secretary. “This is vital for our long-term economic and global security. This deal will ensure all countries are held to account for their climate commitments and gives a clear signal to business to invest in the low carbon transition”.
The International Energy Agency (IEA):
“The IEA congratulates all Parties, under the leadership of the French Presidency, for the successful conclusion of the landmark Paris Agreement. The Paris Agreement is nothing less than a historic milestone for the global energy sector. It will speed up the transformation of the energy sector by accelerating investments in cleaner technologies and energy efficiency.
“Driving even stronger action to lower emissions while supporting continued economic growth and expanding energy access will require greater engagement and effort by all. The IEA stands ready to support implementation of the Paris Agreement by helping countries track the transition of the energy sector and by promoting innovation and technology transfer.”
“This is a proud moment in world history and a strong step forward to solving the biggest challenge of our time,” said Kim Glas, Executive Director of the BlueGreen Alliance. “While not perfect—the Paris Agreement urges a just transition for impacted workers and underscores the obligation to protect human rights. The Agreement does right by us all because it sets a goal and structure that could keep our world below 1.5 degree C of warming. The Agreement also made significant progress towards helping developing nations fund efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and in ensuring both transparency and verification of everyone’s commitments. Enforcement and follow through are now key.”
“With this historic deal, world leaders have unambiguously confirmed their commitment to limit dangerous warming, and nearly every country has published its own plan to limit carbon emissions,” said Anthony Hobley, CEO of Carbon Tracker Initiative. “This is a new kind of inclusive global agreement providing a framework for action. It sends a strong signal that will accelerate the low-carbon transition that is already underway.
“The necessary carbon budget to deliver the 2 degrees target and maintain ambition for 1.5 degrees means the fossil fuel era is well and truly over. There is absolutely no room for error. Fossil fuel companies will need to accept that they are ex-growth stocks and must urgently re-assess their business plans accordingly.
“New energy technologies have become hugely cost-competitive in recent years, and the effect of the momentum created in Paris will only accelerate that trend. The need for financial markets to fund the clean energy transition creates opportunity for growth on a scale not seen since the industrial revolution.
“Carbon Tracker will now focus on the immediate task of translating this unambiguous signal for global financial markets, so that they can increase the flow of investment and capital towards activities that are consistent with a low-carbon world, and correctly price-in the risks associated with high-carbon activities. This ‘Paris Effect’ will build momentum behind an orderly economic transition and help minimize the destruction in value of some of the world’s biggest companies.
“The Paris Agreement is probably the most important international agreement in history,” said Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the United Nations Environmental Programme. ‘Nations of the world have underlined that climate change is a threat to the security and prosperity of all societies, and can only be addressed through unity of purpose. A sustainable future benefits all of humanity.
“This agreement is a testament to the ability of our societies to set aside differences and confront collective challenges for the global good. Importantly, the agreement has provisions to protect the most vulnerable. Fairness and equity are at the heart of this accord.
“Governments have sent a signal to the private sector that the momentum toward sustainability cannot be stopped. This is what the world needed to see.
“Above all, we have given future generations hope instead of doom and gloom.
“Rainforest Action Network views today’s global climate agreement in Paris with both hope and disappointment,” said Lindsey Allen, Executive Director of the Rainforest Action Network. “We are encouraged at the recognition that deforestation and forest degradation play a critical role in the climate crisis, yet greatly disheartened at the lack of binding inclusion for Indigenous and human rights in the agreement. We are hopeful that promises of addressing the loss and damage experienced by developing nations will become a reality, but this will require the full participation of wealthier nations many of whom have an even worse environmental track record.”
“Ultimately, real change is always led by people power. The past few weeks in Paris have presented a heartening display of the unity and solidarity of an ascendant global climate justice movement with Indigenous community voices and voices from the global south at its core. Frontline communities, Indigenous communities, and everyday activists who are willing to stand up to those who place profits before people and planet will force the change we need to see. And that will allow us to keep forests standing, to keep fossil fuels in the ground, to protect human rights and to create a just and sustainable future.”
“We appreciate the efforts made by the Energy Secretary Amber Rudd and her team in helping to secure a deal which commits the UK on the world stage to continuing its trajectory towards a sustainable and carbon-free future,” said Maria McCaffery, RenewableUK’s Chief Executive. “This landmark agreement puts the world firmly on course to limiting dangerous climate change and Britain has proved it is willing to play its part.
“We hope that in the months to come we can see this accord translated into the necessary policies at home to achieve these goals, with Ministers returning from the talks fired up to put their weight fully behind the development of the UK’s plentiful renewable energy resources, including wind, wave and tidal power, without the Government seeking to exclude successful and cost-effective technologies such as onshore wind from our energy mix”.
“This is a substantive, tremendous result that has been achieved by the parties in Paris,” said Sean Kidney, CEO of the Climate Bonds Initiative. “The Agreement sets us towards limiting warming to 1.5 degrees, puts significant transition and financial measures in train and cements the global consensus on moving to a low carbon future.”
“By acting in such a coordinated manner the international community has opened the way for institutional investors, regions and cities to now take the lead on climate finance solutions with confidence that governments have set the low carbon direction. The review periods and ratchet mechanisms in the Agreement add certainty and weight for investors and other stakeholders.”
“Enormous opportunity now clearly exists to deploy green bond and climate bond financing, to renew ageing infrastructure, and to provide climate finance for emerging markets and economies that require new energy, transport and urban networks over coming decades.”
“For the first time, almost 200 countries have agreed on a landmark deal on climate change action for all. This Paris Agreement is a deal for both people and planet,” said David Nussbaum, WWF-UK Chief Executive. “The vision to keep global warming below 1.5°C provides the mandate to press on in our efforts to tackle climate change. Starting with countries revisiting their existing commitments before they come into force in 2020.”
“We welcome the historic agreement that has just been reached in Paris,” said Jim Yong Kim, World Bank Group President. The world has come together to forge a deal that finally reflects the aspiration, and the seriousness, to preserve our planet for future generations.
“First, it leaves no one behind – protecting the poorest people and the most vulnerable countries by calling on all of us to hold the increase in temperatures to well below 2 degrees C and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
“Second, it sends the much needed signal to trigger the massive sums of public and private sector investments needed to drive economies toward a carbon neutral world as advised by science. While doing this, we will strive to ensure that there is the necessary finance to provide resilience for developing countries.
“Third, it changes development. We agree there is no development without tackling climate change. We cannot poison the planet and thrive.
“We called for strong ambition, for remarkable partnerships, for mobilization of finance, and for implementation of national climate plans. Paris delivered. Now the job becomes our shared responsibility. The World Bank Group is ready to help immediately and will do its utmost to realize this vision of prosperity.”
Have a tip for CleanTechnica? Want to advertise? Want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
Latest CleanTechnica TV Video
CleanTechnica uses affiliate links. See our policy here.