TWENTY years of negotiations culminating in intense and physically as well as emotionally draining deliberations in which negotiators burnt the midnight oil right over the wee hours of the next day for 13 days in Paris last month produced the world’s new agreement on climate change world leaders have hailed as historic and ground breaking.
“The Paris Agreement allows each delegation and groups of countries to go back home with their heads held high,” says Laurent Fabius, who was President of COP21 in Paris in his capacity as the French Foreign Minister. “Our collective effort is worth more than the sum of our individual effort,” he added. Standing beside him, a clearly proud French President Francois Hollande who took the bold decision to go ahead with the hosting of COP21 just two weeks after Paris was a capital under siege when Islamic radicals killed 130 people in a series of terrorist attacks, congratulated the world’s negotiators for the new deal.
“You’ve done it, reached an ambitious agreement, a binding agreement, a universal agreement. Never will I be able to express more gratitude to a conference. You can be proud before your children and grandchildren.”