Reaction came swiftly once the final text of the global climate agreement was released, with supporters for an ambitious pact urging national leaders to adopt it but also to consider revisions in the hours ahead.
“Today, countries must come together to respond to the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced,” Alden Meyer, strategy and policy manager at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said in a written statement. “While there will be more work to do, if adopted, the Paris Agreement would give the world hope that we can come to grips with the mounting climate change crisis and leave our children and grandchildren with a habitable planet.”
"The agreement’s temperature goal, net zero emissions objective, and processes to steadily increase the ambition of national emissions reduction commitments combine to send a clear message to the fossil fuel industry: after decades of deception and denial, your efforts to block action on climate change are no longer working. Growing public concern about climate impacts, and the availability of cost-effective efficiency and renewable energy solutions are giving leaders the political will to stand up to fossil fuel polluters and put us on a path to create the global clean energy economy needed to avoid the worst impacts of climate change."
Lou Leonard, vice president of the World Wildlife Fund, said the final text “contains strong signals that would commit the world to a temperature goal that’s in line with science. The key to making that meaningful is how countries agree to strengthen commitments on an accelerated time frame that keeps that temperature goal in sight. Some of these opportunities are built into the current draft agreement. Most importantly, parties are called back to the table in 2018 to take stock of progress and submit stronger commitments. To make this 2018 political moment effective, both the finance and emissions reductions pledges must be scaled up before 2020 to provide any chance of limiting warming to well below 2 [degrees Celsius] or 1.5 [degrees Celsius]. Our biggest concern at this point is that there’s currently no guarantee of assistance for those who will suffer the most from the impacts of climate change.”
Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund, declared in a statement that it was "a transformative moment in the long struggle to get serious about climate change."
"While the Paris commitments won’t deliver all the emissions reductions that are needed, the agreement provides a framework to ratchet up ambition over time: a transparent system for reporting and review, regular assessments of progress, and strengthening of commitments every five years beginning in 2020," he said.
Not everyone was pleased, with Wenonah Hauter,executive director of Food & Water Watch, saying it "falls far short of what is needed to actually address our climate crisis."
"The science is clear: We need to take swift and bold action if we are to have any chance of preventing the worst impacts of climate change, yet this agreement does not contain the mandates and funding to make this happen," he said in a statement. "It doesn’t mention the words ‘oil’, ‘gas’ or ‘fossil fuels’ at all — all of which we must swiftly transition away from to avert climate crisis. There is overwhelming support across the United States and throughout the world for bold action to address our planetary crisis. Communities need to continue organizing and holding their elected officials accountable so that they ultimately deliver the solutions we all need.”