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France delivers 'historic' climate-rescue accord

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France delivers 'historic' climate-rescue accord
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius (centre) is applauded by French President Francois Hollande (L) and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon (R) at COP21. Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP
12:41 CET+01:00
French hosts submitted to cheers and applause Saturday a proposed 195-nation accord aimed at curbing emissions of the heat-trapping gases that threaten to wreck Earth's climate system

Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, on the brink of tears after presiding over nearly a fortnight of talks in Paris that ran into overtime despite all-night negotiations, delivered the accord to ministers who must now decide whether or not to approve it.

"The world is holding its breath and counting on all of us," said Fabius, his voice occasionally breaking with emotion.

Describing it as "an historic accord", Fabius said the agreement would aim to limit warming of the planet since the Industrial Revolution to "well" below 2.0 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) and strive for an even more ambitious goal of 1.5C (2.7F).

The deal would also mean mobilising a minimum of $100 billion (92 billion euros) a year from 2020 to help the developing world cope with global warming, he said.

Importantly, a new figure for the financing would be set by 2025, Fabius said.

Fabius said the overall agreement would be "legally binding".

Observers said that as the draft document had yet to be unveiled, it was not immediately clear if the financing would be a legal commitment, which the United States had been resisting.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon pressed the world's envoys to approve the
pact.

"The end is in sight. Let's now finish the job. The world is watching. Millions of people depend on your wisdom."

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