In what supporters are calling a historic achievement, 196 nations attending the COP21 climate meetings outside Paris voted to adopt an agreement that covers both developed and developing countries. Their respective governments will now need to adopt the deal.

 Presenting the plan aimed at curbing global warming ahead of the vote, France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told the delegations, “You go into this room to decide a historic agreement. The world holds its breath and it counts on you.”

 The agreement sets the goal of limiting the world’s rise in average temperature to well below 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius.  The 1.5-degree cap was sought by island nations. It also agrees to help developing countries switch from fossil fuels to greener sources of energy and adapt to the effects of climate change, the developed world will provide $100 billion a year. Under the agreement, for the first time, all countries will be required to report on national inventories of emissions by source and also to report on their mitigation efforts.

 UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said: “With these elements in place, markets now have the clear signal they need to unleash the full force of human ingenuity and scale up investments that will generate low-emissions, resilient growth,” adding that “what was once unthinkable has now become unstoppable.”

 The COP21 Summit in Paris has succeeded where six years ago there was failure.  The deal will help the world prepare for impacts of climate change that are either already here or are on the way and, if successful, will prevent the worst environmental effects from coming to pass. The COP21 agreement has been described as a transformative diplomatic victory but it is widely acknowledged that the hard work of delivery begins now. The security of nations and humanity depends upon the reduction of emissions and the protection of nature.

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