Rising Climate Fears Bring Urgency to Paris Meeting

The White House wants to be seen as taking the lead on emissions.

The COP21 conference, through Dec. 11, has a goal to hold the increase in temperature by the end of the century to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit above pre-industrial levels.

President Obama arrived in Paris Sunday night with negotiators and participants who had been working to deliver a comprehensive agreement for months. The White House wants to be seen as taking a lead in containing greenhouse gas emissions, observers say.


Morris said negotiations are not really centered around one deal like carbon taxes but, instead, many of the countries participating will put forward their individual contributions. “I think the Paris agreement is going to be a job of stapling these agreements together,” Morris said.

At home, Obama faces Republicans who want to prevent the administration from instating rules on decreasing carbon pollution from power plants. Twenty-four states have filed lawsuits against the measures. They hope to send a clear message to the international community attempting to negotiate the agreement in Paris: The president does not have the support of the U.S. Congress. They’ve even tried forcing the president to acquire Senate approval before signing any deal.


In 2009, the Copenhagen talks ended in no deal and were seen as a failure. As 45,000 journalists, non-governmental organization participants and negotiators pour into Paris for COP21 and the city ramps up security, the world hopes for something different in Paris.

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