Climate Negotiators Reach Deal To Keep Paris Agreement Alive

Negotiators at this year's United Nations climate talks—known as COP24—ran into overtime on Saturday to reach an agreement over rules guiding an international strategy to battle climate change. Delegates from the United States agreed to the deal despite President Trump’s vow to abandon the Paris Agreement—the strictest climate change agreement to date. The U.S. cannot formally withdraw from the Paris agreement until 2020. The final deal, finalized after an all-night negotiations, will keep the foundations of the Paris Agreement alive by requiring every country in the world to follow a uniform set of standards for measuring greenhouse gas emissions. The deal also requires all countries to ratchet up their plans to cut emissions ahead of more talks in 2020. “This is a pretty solid outcome,” said Elliot Diringer, executive vice president of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions. “It delivers what we need to get the Paris Agreement off the ground.’’ The conference was at risk of unraveling half-way through when delegates from the Trump administration prompted a fight over the fundamentals of climate science. U.S. delegates, and several other oil producing countries, refused to endorse a UN report stating that fossil-fuel emissions would have to fall roughly in half within 12 years to avoid major consequences. Delegates ultimately agreed upon weaker language in order to move the talks along. Greenhouse gas emissions are steadily rising, and millions of people around the world will face severe droughts, floods, and wildfires.