Climate Agreement Reached in Paris

 

Leaders of 195 nations have reached a  historic climate agreement after two weeks of talks in Paris, France. For the first time countries around the world have agreed on measures to slow down climate change. Both rich and poor nations are to take action against global warmingHowever, what was agreed upon in Paris will not stop climate change altogether.

These are the most important points of the agreement :

  • Greenhouse gas emissions should be reduced by at least 50%
  • Rising temperatures should be limited to less than 2° Celsius (=3.6° Fahrenheit)
  • Every five years countries must be evaluated to see if they keep up their promises
  • Rich countries will give money to poorer nations (about 100 billion dollars a year)  in order to help them cope with climate change

Without the new climate agreement global warming would spin out of control. Rising sea levelsincreased floodingdroughts and food shortages would be the result. According to environmentalists, the Paris climate summit is only the first step down a rough road to save our planet.

The last climate conference in Copenhagen failed because countries could not agree on how to combat global warming. Nations like India and China thought that a climate deal would put their economic growth in danger. Environment experts hope that the agreement will also send a message to energy companies to invest more in renewable energy instead of fossil fuels.

 

The climate agreement comes at a time when both the United States and China, two main contributors of greenhouse gases, have taken action to reduce emissions. While not all of the agreement is binding , all countries have pledged to do as much as they can to stop global warming.

 

Climate Change Conference in Paris

Climate Change Talks in Paris - Image: Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores

 

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Words

  • according to = as said by ...
  • agreement = when two or more countries promise to do something
  • billion = a thousand million
  • binding = here: something that must be followed or done
  • climate change = when the atmosphere of our earth becomes warmer and warmer
  • combat = fight
  • contribute =here: a country that produces a lot of emissions
  • cope with = deal with, handle
  • deal = agreement
  • drought = long period of dry weather when there is not enough water for plants and animals to grow
  • emission = gas that is sent out into the air
  • environmentalist = a person who cares about nature and the world around us
  • evaluate = to check how well something worked out
  • fail = not succeed
  • fossil fuel = energy like coal or oil that is produced from dead animals and plants over millions of years
  • global warming = when the atmosphere of our earth becomes warmer and warmer
  • greenhouse gas = gas, like carbon dioxide or methane that leads to global warming
  • growth = when something becomes bigger and bigger
  • however = but
  • increase = to go up
  • limit = keep at a certain rate or number
  • measures = action
  • pledge =promise
  • promise = something that you want to do
  • reduce = lower, make something less
  • renewable = when something replaces itself naturally
  • rough =very difficult
  • sea level = the average height of the sea, used to measure other heights, like the height of a city or a mountain
  • shortage = not enough of something
  • spin= move very quickly
  • take action = do something against ...