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Obama Administration Pushing To Secure Paris Climate Deal

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With climate experts and world leaders set to resume talks on global warming in Paris this December, the United States government has once again expressed its intention to forge a definitive climate agreement to be adopted by the end of the conference.

Senior officials at the White House revealed in a press briefing on Wednesday, Oct. 21, the long history of negotiations leading to the Paris talks this winter, which many observers say is a major part of the Obama administration's climate change legacy.

In June, G7 nations reaffirmed the 2009 Copenhagen agreement in which the United States and other state leaders pledged to set the international temperature limit to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit).

A new study on climate change, however, suggested that even a 2 degree reduction in global temperatures could still prove to be "highly dangerous" for other countries.

Climate experts also claimed that the commitment of world governments to reduce carbon emissions would not be enough in order to reach the current target.

Negotiators from the U.S. government have downplayed the 2 degree Celsius target at times, stating that the insistence on achieving the goal could work against reaching an effective commitment from all nations.

Climate delegates are meeting this week in Germany to create a draft agreement. This is viewed as a final attempt to iron out the details before negotiators from 190 different countries convene in Paris beginning Nov. 30 with the intention of approving a final climate deal.

The Obama administration’s objective is to convince world leaders to agree on future goals beyond the ones set for reducing carbon emissions by 2020.

At the press briefing, the government reiterated that the targets set by these nations alone will not be enough to prevent them from reaching the 2 degree Celsius mark.

White House officials said the ability of the U.S. to reduce the effects of global warming depends on how it can pressure world leaders to agree on other ambitious targets in the future.

"If we reach an agreement in Paris, that agreement is based on a collective commitment by countries to use this process of setting bottom-up targets, subjecting them to transparent review, and committing to updating them over time," a White House official said.

Photo: Tim J. Keegan | Flickr 

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