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  • Nations agree to curb climate change with historic Paris draft agreement

    By Ramona du Houx

    Negotiations went through the night to come up with an agreement in Paris, France, to curb climate change amoungst over 191 nations. On December 12, 2015 the draft treaty was reached.  Phone calls between the US President Barack Obama, and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, and appeals from the French Priminister Hollande and the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, all helped to push countries towards agreeing to the final draft.

    In the pact would commit countries to keeping the rise in global temperatures by the year 2100 compared with pre-industrial times "well below" 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) and "endeavor to limit" them even more, to 1.5 degrees Celsius. 

    Critically, countries would also be committed to limiting the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by human activity to the same levels that trees, soil and oceans can absorb naturally, beginning at some point between 2050 and 2100.

    Read the draft agreement HERE.

    The full plenary session still requires an unanimous agreement from all contries. This is set to take place on Saturday afternoon and evening. Objections at this stage could still disrupt a final deal.

    Ban Ki-moon urged countries to agree the deal, “We have come to a final moment of a journey that has been going on for decades. The end now is in sight. Let us now finish the job. We must protect the planet that sustains us. Billions of people are relying on your wisdom."

    Photo: Alex Cornell du Houx, a former state Rep. from Maine, is in Paris as a leader of lawmakers from everystate that are demanding action on climate change. The coalition he represents have a sign up letter for current lawmakers that bypasses Congress for clean energy action. See more here.