Nations adopt climate change accord to fight global warming

France Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius bangs the gavel to indicate the adoption of the COP21Paris Agreement on Climate Chnage. PHOTO | EUNICE KILONZO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • The primary commitments include moving away from carbon-based fuels, which is the leading cause of planet warming.


About 195 countries have unanimously agreed to adopt universal climate agreement, signalling the commitment to cut down the rate of greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate global warming.

Temperatures should not exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The adoption of the Global Climate Change Agreement (COP21) means nations now have between April 22, 2016 and April 21, 2017 to adopt the agreement as per their domestic legal frameworks.

Going forward, the accord will also include five years of evaluation to check for progress on adaptation to climate change.

United Nations Environmental Programme (Unep) Executive Director Achim Steiner has heralded the historic agreement in Le Bourget, Paris.

“The Paris Agreement is probably the most important international agreement in history. Nations of the world have underlined that climate change is a threat to the security and prosperity of all societies, and can only be addressed through unity of purpose. A sustainable future benefits all of humanity.

Adding: "Above all, we have given future generations hope instead of doom and gloom.

Mr Steiner called for the implementation of the solutions that drive an inclusive green economy, including "renewable energy, green finance initiatives, and sustainability in transport, construction and other sectors."

Negotiations began November 30 and were expected to end on December 11 but the climate change convening was extended by a day to finalise on the text.


In a record seven minutes on Saturday at Le Bourget, Paris, France Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius asked for opposition to the accord and, hearing none, gaveled the session at 19:26 Paris time, around 21:26 Nairobi time.

Additionally, World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said: “We welcome the historic agreement that has just been reached in Paris. The world has come together to forge a deal that finally reflects the aspiration, and the seriousness, to preserve our planet for future generations.

Mr Kim further added that the accord "leaves no one behind" as it protects the poorest people and the most vulnerable countries.

Also, Mohamed Adow, Senior Climate Advisor, Christian Aid observed that: "For the first time in history, the whole world has made a public commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and deal with the impacts of climate change. Although different countries will move at different speeds, the transition to a low carbon world is now inevitable."