AT LAST: French president Francois Hollande (second from right), executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Christiana Figueres (left), French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius (centre) and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon after the adoption of the COP21 final agreement at the plenary session room at the World Climate Change Conference 2015 in Paris.
AT LAST: French president Francois Hollande (second from right), executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Christiana Figueres (left), French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius (centre) and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon after the adoption of the COP21 final agreement at the plenary session room at the World Climate Change Conference 2015 in Paris. CHRISTOPHE PETIT TESSON

Agreement spells a will to tackle issues of climate change

A HISTORIC universal agreement at the UN climate talks in Paris is a watershed moment in the global effort to tackle climate change, the Climate Council's Tim Flannery said yesterday.

World leaders agreed to work together to tackle climate change in a strong agreement that commits countries, big or small, rich or poor, to pursuing all efforts to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

"We have witnessed something incredible today.

"Finally, we can feel hopeful that we are on a path to tackling climate change," Prof Flannery said.

"This is a watershed moment.

"All countries have acknowledged they have to act, and almost all are already doing so.

"In the first ever universal climate agreement, leaders the world over have marked the end of the fossil fuel era and provided a catalyst for what could be the greatest period of technological innovation in the history of mankind.

"The era of renewable energy is upon us.

"Renewable energy has been front and centre throughout the conference.

"The technology is ready to go, it is profitable, and now, with this agreement, countries worldwide will be following mayors, companies and citizens to accelerate the massive scale up of renewable energy that is already well under way."

The Climate Council's Professor Lesley Hughes said the agreement was a big step forward, but countries like Australia would need to significantly ramp up their commitments over time to avoid the most dangerous impacts of climate change.

"It is tremendously exciting that the agreement is referenced to the science.

"Minimising temperature rise will reduce the profound risks that climate change poses to humanity and the environment that supports us," she said.

"By including this important goal in the agreement, world leaders have recognised that our climate is changing more rapidly and with larger and more damaging impacts than first thought, and underscored how quickly we must act to safeguard our climate."



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