In December 2015, nearly every country in the world, 195 nations, agreed to the first global compact aimed at curbing emissions of greenhouse gases that cause global warming. It was a historic diplomatic achievement and the pinnacle of President Barack Obama’s environmental agenda.
Scientific studies show that if global carbon emissions continue unchecked, then atmospheric temperatures will continue to rise. Not only will the planet be hotter, but it will also suffer from rising sea levels, more powerful storms, and droughts that lead to food shortages and other severe disruptions.
The idea of the Paris climate agreement was for every country, rich and poor, to set targets for reducing carbon emissions in an effort to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.