President Obama on 'Historic' Climate Agreement: 'We Met The Moment'

PHOTO: President Barack Obama speaks about the Paris climate agreement from the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, Saturday Dec 12, 2015. Jacquelyn Martin/AP PHOTO
President Barack Obama speaks about the Paris climate agreement from the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, Saturday Dec 12, 2015.

President Obama today hailed the climate agreement reached in Paris as a "tribute to American leadership," and an achievement of a goal set more than seven years ago at the beginning of his presidency.

"We came together around the strong agreement the world needed. We met the moment," Obama said in a rare Saturday address. "Together we’ve shown what’s possible when the world stands as one."

Just two weeks ago, Obama traveled to Paris to deliver remarks at the COP21 conference, urging the nearly 200 nations to reach an agreement "that builds in ambition."

“This agreement represents the best chance we have to save the one planet we’ve got," Obama said, though he did not go into the specifics of the agreement.

Reached in Paris today, the agreement says nations will work towards capping long-term global warming at 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Wealthy nations will work to support poorer ones in decreasing their carbon emissions relative to their technological and economic abilities.

Obama has pledged that the U.S. will cut its overall greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent to 28 percent by 2030.

Reflecting on his hopes to one day take his grandchildren to national parks, Obama said the agreement will set in motion actions that will allow future generations to thrive in a world with safer ecosystems.

"We may not live to see the full realization of our achievement," Obama said. "But that's OK."