The World Reacts to Paris Climate Pact

Is it 'diluted and polluted' or 'a victory for all of the planet?'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 12, 2015 3:22 PM CST
Officials celebrate the successful end of two weeks of negotiations on climate change Saturday in Paris.   (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

(Newser) – Delegates from 195 nations made history on Saturday—signing the first legally binding agreement to reduce carbon emissions and combat global warming—during climate talks in Paris. But not everyone is onboard with the pact. Here are some reactions from around the world:

  • Secretary of State John Kerry: “This is a tremendous victory for all of our citizens,”the Hill quotes Kerry, who was the face of the Obama administration during he second week of talks. “Not for any one country, or any one bloc, but for everybody here who has worked so hard to bring us across the finish line. It’s a victory for all of the planet."
  • Green Groups: The New Republic reports activists are mostly responding with "measured optimism." While Greenpeace International calls the agreement "diluted and polluted," most green groups see it as a place to start and something to build on.
  • The GOP: “The news remains the same," the Hill quotes Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe. "This agreement is no more binding than any other ‘agreement’ from any conference…over the last 21 years." The chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee has been trying to undermine the agreement since talks started and says the Senate won't be bound by it.
  • Developing Countries: "We're happy with the agreement," AFP quotes a Malaysian official representing two-dozen or so developing nations. He notes the only "serious objections" of the group—which includes India, China, and Saudi Arabia—are to the weather, not the agreement.
  • "The Father of Climate Change": "It’s a fraud really, a fake. It’s just [expletive]," the Guardian quotes former NASA scientist James Hansen. "There is no action, just promises." Hansen believes the only way to lower emissions quick enough to avoid the serious consequences of climate change is to make fossil fuels prohibitively expensive through taxes or fees.
(Read more Paris stories.)

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