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Historic Paris Agreement On Climate Change Reached By Nearly 200 Countries: What World Leaders Are Saying

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The Paris climate conferece has ended, and the talks have led to an agreement that is being hailed by many as a turning point for the world.

The deal has been a long time coming, with world leaders first coming together 20 years ago to discuss whether or not an agreement could ever be achieved. Since then, the effects of climate change have become increasingly apparent.

"No agreement is perfect, including this one. Negotiations that involve nearly 200 nations are always challenging," said President Obama from the White House only a few hours after negotiations came to an end. "This agreement represents the best chance we've had to save the one planet that we've got." 

So what exactly is the agreement? The goal of the agreement is to put an end to the use of fossil fuels, which have served as a primary catapult for economic growth. The deal itself required that all countries that take part in the agreement reduce their greenhouse gas emissions "as soon as possible," continuing those reductions as the century continues to progress.

Countries will aim to ensure that global temperatures do not rise any more than two degrees Celsius by 2100, however the ideal target is to keep temperatures from rising to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The deal also encourages the spending of trillions of dollars towards adapting to the effects of climate change. This includes the building of things like sea walls, and of course programs to develop renewable energy sources.

Not only that, developed countries will also be required to help developing countries in this process, with developed countries having to send $100 billion per year to developing countries, a figure that is set to increase with time. What this means is that individual countries can determine themselves how to best cut their emissions.

Countries will also have to report transparently on their progress, and every five years nations will assess their progress and submit new plans.

Of course, not everyone is happy with the talks. Critics on the left said that the treaty is not ambitious enough, while critics on the right, who have long been against a deal such as this, dispute the scientific evidence that links climate change to actions by humans.

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