Monday, November 30, 2015

The Paris Climate Talks Have Begun, and Obama Has Strong Words for Fellow Leaders

President Barack Obama delivers remarks during the COP21, United Nations Climate Change Conference, in Le Bourget, outside Paris, on Monday, Nov. 30, 2015. (Credit: AP Photo/Evan Vucci) Click to Enlarge.
President Obama kicked off the Paris climate talks on Monday with a focus on future generations, quoting Martin Luther King, Jr., and calling on world leaders to take strong action at the conference, which runs through December 11.

“For I believe, in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., that there is such a thing as being too late.  And when it comes to climate change, that hour is almost upon us,” Obama said.

“Let that be the common purpose here in Paris:  A world that is worthy of our children.  A world that is marked not by conflict, but by cooperation; and not by human suffering, but by human progress.  A world that’s safer, and more prosperous, and more secure, and more free than the one that we inherited,” he continued.

Outlining the steps the United States has taken, Obama acknowledged that the United States is a leading emitter of greenhouse gases and pledged to lead on the issue.

“I’ve come here personally, as the leader of the world’s largest economy and the second-largest emitter, to say that the United States of America not only recognizes our role in creating this problem, we embrace our responsibility to do something about it,” he said.

The Obama administration has made addressing climate change a key part of both its domestic and foreign agenda.  While many U.S. leaders have said that action at home is meaningless without action from China and India, Obama worked to extract commitments from both those countries, as well as from Brazil, another major carbon emitter.  Figuring out how to support a transition to clean energy in heavily coal-dependent and developing nations is expected to be a major part of the Paris conference, as the world’s nations seek to address climate change without putting themselves at an economic disadvantage.

Read more at The Paris Climate Talks Have Begun, and Obama Has Strong Words for Fellow Leaders

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