LE BOURGET, France (AP) — Nearly 200 nations adopted the first global pact to fight climate change on Saturday, calling on the world to collectively cut and then eliminate greenhouse gas pollution but imposing no sanctions on countries that don’t.
The “Paris agreement” aims to keep global temperatures from rising another degree Celsius (1.8 Fahrenheit) between now and 2100, a key demand of poor countries ravaged by rising sea levels and other effects of climate change.
Loud applause erupted in the conference hall after French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius gaveled the agreement. Some delegates wept and others embraced.
“It’s a victory for all of the planet and for future generations,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said, adding that the pact will “prevent the worst most devastating consequences of climate change from ever happening.”
Brazilian Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira added: “Today, we’ve proven that it’s possible for every country to come together, hand in hand, to do its part to fight climate change.”