Nearly 200 nations join together to fight climate change in historic Paris agreement

Representatives from nearly 200 countries made common cause in the fight against climate change Saturday, adopting an agreement they hope will avert some of the worst effects of global warming and shift economies around the world to cleaner energy sources.

The agreement reached at a United Nations conference outside Paris marks the first time that virtually every nation on Earth has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The long-term goal is to limit the average global temperature rise since preindustrial times to well below 2 degrees Celsius, the threshold at which scientists say many of the worst effects of global warming could be avoided.

Government leaders, environmental activists, scientists and others gathered here acknowledged that the measures outlined in the deal won’t solve the environmental crisis. But they said the pact establishes a framework for a truly global response to what they described as the defining challenge of our time.

“This agreement represents the best chance we’ve had to save the one planet that we’ve got,” President Obama told reporters at the White House.

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