French FM Fabius presents historic global climate accord

After the hottest year on record and a two-week conference in Le Bourget near Paris, the French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius urged nearly 200 nations to sign the final accord for slowing global warning. "If implemented, this means bringing down greenhouse-gas emissions to net zero within a few decades. It is in line with the scientific evidence we presented," said John Schellnhuber, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

It also requires rich nations to maintain a $100 billion a year funding pledge beyond 2020, and use that figure as a "floor" for further support agreed by 2025, providing greater financial security to developing nations as they wean themselves away from coal-fired power. However scientists have warned that the deal had serious weaknesses, maintaining that the envisaged emissions cuts will not be enough to keep warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit), which is needed to avert the worst effects of warming such as severe droughts and rising sea levels.

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