President Obama Praises Global Climate Agreement

The deal to fight climate change is a "tribute to American leadership," he says.
7:28 | 12/13/15

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Transcript for President Obama Praises Global Climate Agreement
Leave it. In my first inaugural address I committed. This country. To the tireless task of combating climate change and protecting this planet for future generations. Two weeks ago in Paris. A set before the world that we needed a strong. Global agreement. To accomplish this goal. And enduring agreement that reduces global carbon pollution and sets the world on a course to a low carbon future. A few hours ago we succeeded. We came together. Around the strong agreement the world need. We met the moment. I want to commend president long and Secretary General bomb for their leadership and for hosting such a successful summit. And French foreign minister are all patents for presiding with patients and was all. I want give a special thanks to secretary John Kerry. My senior advisor Brian these are chief negotiator Todd Stern. And everyone on their teams for their outstanding work and for making America. I also want to thank the people of nearly 200 nations. Large and small developed and developing. For working together to confront a threat to the people of all nations. Together we've shown what's possible when the world stances. Today the American people can be proud because this historic agreement is a tribute to American leadership. Over the past seven years we've transformed the United States into the global leader in fighting climate change. In 2009 we help salvage or chaotic Copenhagen summit. And established the principle that all countries had a role to play in combating climate change. We then led by example with historic investments in growing industries like wind solar. Creating a new and steady stream of middle class jobs. We've set the first ever nationwide standards to limit the amount of carbon pollution power plants can dump into the air our children Bree. From Alaska to the Gulf Coast to the great plains. We've partnered with local leaders were working to help their communities protect themselves from some of the most immediate impacts. Of a changing climate. A skeptics said these actions would kill jobs. Instead we've seen the longest streak of private sector job creation in our history. We've driven our economic output to all time high as. While driving our carbon pollution down to its lowest level in nearly two decades. And then would our historic joint announcement with China last year. We showed it was possible to bridge the old divides between developed and developing nations that had stymied global progress for so long. That accomplishment and courage dozens and dozens of other nations. To set their own ambitious climate torts. And that was the foundation for success in Paris. Because no nation not even one as powerful as ours can solve this challenge alone. And no country no matter how small can sit on the sidelines. All of us had to solve it together. Now no agreement is perfect including this. Negotiations that involved nearly 200 nations are always challenge. Even if all the initial targets set in Paris ormat. Will only be part of the way their when it comes to reducing carbon. From the atmosphere so we cannot be complacent. Because of today's agreement. The problems not solved. Because of the support. But make no mistake the Paris agreement establishes the enduring framework the world needs. To solve the climate crisis. The critics the mechanism architecture. For us to continually. Tackle this problem in an effective way. This agreement is ambitious with every nation setting and committing. To their own specific targets even as we take into account differences among nations. We'll have a strong system of transparency. Including periodic reviews and independent suspects. To help hold every country accountable for meeting its commitments. As tech knowledge technology advances this agreement allows progress to pave the way for even more ambitious targets over time. And we have secured a water commitment to support the most vulnerable countries as they pursue clean our economic growth. In short this agreement will mean less of the carbon pollution that threatens our planet. And more the jobs and economic growth driven by low carbon investment. Full implementation of this agreement will help delay or avoid. Some of the worst consequences of climate change and will pave the way. For even more progress in successive stages over the coming years. Moreover of disagreements sends a powerful signal. That the world is firmly committed to a low carbon future. And that has the potential to unleash investment and innovation in clean energy at a scale we've never seen before. The targets we set our bold and by empowering businesses scientists and engineers workers and the private sector. Investors. To work together this agreement represents the best chance we had to save the one planet that we've got. So I believe this moment can be a turning point for the world. We've shown that the world has both the will and the ability to take on this child. It won't be easy. Progress won't always come port. We cannot be complacent. While our generation we'll see some of the benefits of building a clean energy economy. Jobs created money saved. We may not live to see the full realization of our achievement but that's okay. What matters is that today. We can be more confident that this planet is going to be in better shape for the next generation and that's what I care. I imagine taking my grandkids if I'm lucky enough to have some. To the park some day and holding their hands and hearing their laughter and watching a quiet sunset all the while knowing. Our work today prevented on alternate future the could've been. That our work here and now give future generations cleaner air and cleaner water. And a more sustainable plan. And what could be more important than that. Today thanks to strong principled American leadership. That's the world there will lead torture. A world that is safer and more secure. Prosperous. And more for. And that is our most important mission and our short time here on this. Thanks.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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