0144 GMT March 30, 2020
"We came together around a strong agreement the world needed," said Obama on Saturday evening, speaking from the White House. "We met the moment."
Representatives of 195 countries reached the landmark climate accord on Saturday following two weeks of intense negotiations in a Paris suburb that will commit both rich and poor nations to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a bid to arrest global warming.
"The Paris agreement establishes the enduring framework the world needs to solve the climate crisis," the US president said.
"It creates the mechanism, the architecture, for us to continually tackle this problem in an effective way," he added.
Obama took significant credit for America’ role in the process toward the climate deal which came after four years of UN-led negotiations that often pitted the interests of advanced nations against developing countries.
"Today the American people can be proud because this historic agreement is a tribute to American leadership. Over the past seven years, we've transformed the United States into the global leader in fighting climate change," he said.
“This agreement represents the best chance we’ve had to save the one planet that we’ve got,” Obama said.
“I believe this moment can be a turning point for the world,” he continued. “We’ve shown that the world has both the will and the ability to take on this challenge.”
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change opened on November 30 in Le Bourget, on the outskirts of Paris, and was scheduled to conclude on December 11.
But international negotiators missed their self-imposed Friday deadline but surprisingly after just few hours reached the momentous accord, which will create a system to encourage nations to increase voluntary domestic efforts to curb emissions.
Under the agreement, rich countries, which are accused of causing this problem, will provide billions of dollars to help poor nations cope with the transition to a greener economy.