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President Obama: Historic Paris Deal Doesn’t Solve the Climate Crisis

December 13, 2015, 7:31 PM UTC
Obama Speaks Before Leaving COP21
PARIS, FRANCE - DECEMBER 01: U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a press conference at the OECD Conference Centre before leaving the Conference On Climate Change COP21 on December 1, 2015 in Paris, France. Obama spoke about the economic impact of global warming and security risks before flying back to Washington. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
Photograph by Pascal Le Segretain via Getty Images

President Barack Obama took to the podium Saturday to discuss the global climate-change deal reached at the U.N. climate conference in Paris.

The deal, agreed upon by 195 countries, includes legally binding clauses and pledges trillions of dollars to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and expand renewable energy. Obama has praised it as our “best chance” to save the planet.

“We came together around a strong agreement the world needed,” Obama said in his speech. He added that this deal isn’t just a great step towards fighting the climate crisis by reducing carbon pollution, but investing in a low-carbon future will also spur economic growth and create jobs.

Ever since Obama took office, his climate agenda has seen strong Republican opposition, but he believes that this agreement “sends a powerful signal that the world is firmly committed to a low-carbon future.”

Still, Obama declared, “The problem is not solved because of this accord. But make no mistake, the Paris agreement establishes the enduring framework the world needs to solve the climate crisis.”

Though the pact isn’t a quick fix, he noted, the nearly 200 countries that have signed on “[pave] the way for even more ambitious targets over time,” to ensure a more secure world for future generations.