Latest Paris News

I’ve just returned from Paris, where exhausted delegates from 195 countriesagreed on the first ever universal deal on climate change.

There was no end of superlatives for the Paris Agreement. It would be a turning point in human history, transformative, momentous, historical, according to François Hollande, Ban Ki-moon, Al Gore and the many other dignitaries in the French capital.

This deal would be a game-changer and redefine future economic development, Jim Yong Kim, the World Bank president, told my colleague Fiona Harvey.

The atmosphere at COP21, where the deal was struck after several sleepless days and last minute haggling over a verb in the 31-page text, was unprecedented in two decades of climate talks, according to veterans of the negotiations.

When Laurent Fabius, the French foreign minister and president of the talks, announced the deal’s adoption and brought down his leaf-shaped gavel, the halls of the summit erupted with applause. UN and French officials laughed, hugged, held hands aloft on stage and gave thumbs-up to the crowd. Even journalists clapped.

Not everyone thinks the deal goes far enough, and the carbon curbs it’s linked to are entirely voluntary. But, as Barack Obama put it, the Paris Agreement is the “best chance” we have of stopping dangerous global warming.

Adam Vaughan

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