Climate agreement signed, giving hope to future generations

Climate agreement signed, giving hope to future generations

This photograph taken on September 9, 2013, shows an aerial view of the island of Male, the capital of the Maldives. The climate accord gives hope that risings seas caused by global warming will not submerge the Maldives and other island nations. AFP PHOTO/ ROBERTO SCHMIDT
This photograph taken on September 9, 2013, shows an aerial view of the island of Male, the capital of the Maldives. The climate accord gives hope that risings seas caused by global warming will not submerge the Maldives and other island nations. AFP PHOTO/ ROBERTO SCHMIDT

Cheering envoys from 195 nations have approved an historic accord in Paris to stop global warming, offering hope that humanity can avert catastrophic climate change.

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Joyful ministers seal landmark Paris Agreement to stop global warming

Le Bourget, France, Dec 12, 2015, AFP – Cheering envoys from 195 nations approved Saturday an historic accord in Paris to stop global warming, offering hope that humanity can avert catastrophic climate change and usher in an energy revolution.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius ended nearly a fortnight of gruelling UN negotiations with the bang of a gavel, marking consensus among the ministers, who stood for several minutes to clap and shout their joy, with some shedding tears of relief.

"I see the room, I see the reaction is positive, I hear no objection. The Paris climate accord is adopted," declared Fabius, the president of the talks.

Foreign Affairs Minister and President-designate of COP21 Laurent Fabius (C), accompanied by Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki Moon (2-L) and France's President Francois Hollande (R), waves the official gavel of the COP21 Climate Conference in Le Bourget, north of Paris, on December 12, 2015. AFP PHOTO / FRANCOIS GUILLOT

Turning to a little green hammer with which he formally gave life to the arduously crafted pact, he quipped: "It may be a small gavel but it can do big things."

The post-2020 Paris Agreement ends decades-long rows between rich and poor nations over how to carry out what will be a multi-trillion-dollar campaign to cap global warming and cope with the impacts of a shifting climate.

With 2015 forecast to be the hottest year on record, world leaders and scientists had said the accord was vital for capping rising temperatures and averting the most calamitous impacts from climate change.

Without urgent action, they warned, mankind faced increasingly severe droughts, floods and storms, and rising seas that would engulf islands and coastal areas populated by hundreds of millions of people.

The crux of the fight entails slashing or eliminating the use of coal, oil and gas for energy, which has largely powered prosperity since the Industrial Revolution began in the 1700s.

The burning of those fossil fuels releases invisible greenhouse gases, which cause the planet to warm and disrupt Earth's delicate climate system.

Ending the vicious circle requires a switch to cleaner sources, such as solar and wind, and improving energy efficiency. Some nations are also aggressively pursuing nuclear power, which does not emit greenhouse gases.

The Paris accord sets a target of limiting warming of the planet to "well below" 2.0 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) compared with the Industrial Revolution, while aiming for an even more ambitious goal of 1.5C.

To do so, emissions of greenhouse gases will need to peak "as soon as possible", followed by rapid reductions, the agreement states.

The world has already warmed by almost 1C, which has caused major problems in dry developing countries, according to scientists.

Activists dressed as polar bears are pictured at a demonstration to form a giant red line at the Avenue de la Grande armee boulevard in Paris on December 12, 2015. AFP PHOTO / ALAIN JOCARD

Some environmentalists said the Paris agreement was a turning point, predicting the 1.5C goal would help to doom the fossil-fuel industry.

"That single number, and the new goal of net zero emissions by the second half of this century, will cause consternation in the boardrooms of coal companies and the palaces of oil-exporting states," Greenpeace International chief Kumi Naidoo said.

Developing nations had insisted rich countries must shoulder the lion's share of responsibility for tackling climate change as they emitted most of the greenhouse gases since the Industrial Revolution.

The United States and other rich nations countered that emerging giants must also do more, arguing developing countries now account for most of current emissions and thus will be largely responsible for future warming.

Scientists say that, even if the pledges were fully honoured, Earth will still be on track for warming far above safe limits.

In an effort to get countries to scale up their commitments, the agreement will have five-yearly reviews of their pledges starting from 2023.

Nations most vulnerable to climate change lobbied hard for wording to limit warming to 1.5C.

Big polluters, such as China, India and oil producing-giant Saudi Arabia, preferred a ceiling of 2C, which would have enabled them to burn fossil fuels for longer.

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Vocabulary

  • accord: a formal agreement between countries or groups - การตกลงร่วมกัน
  • account for: to be the explanation or cause of something - เป็นเหตุผลของ
  • activist: someone who takes part in activities that are intended to achieve political or social change, especially someone who is a member of an organisation - นักกิจกรรม
  • adopt: to accept or to start using something new - นำมาใช้
  • aggressively (adv): in a way that shows force and determination in order to succeed - อย่างตั้งใจจริง, อย่างมุ่งมั่น, อย่างแน่วแน่
  • aim: to have as your target - เล็ง
  • ambitious: difficult and needing a lot of effort to succeed - ความทะเยอทยาน
  • approve: to give official permission - อนุมัต
  • arduously (adv): involving a lot of effort and energy, especially over a period of time - อย่างยากลำบาก, อย่างยากเข็ญ, อย่างหนักหน่วง
  • argue (verb): to give a reason or reasons why you support or oppose an idea or suggestion - ให้เหตุผล
  • avert: to prevent something bad or harmful from happening - ป้องกันไม่ให้เกิด
  • boardroom (noun): a room in which the meetings of the board of a company (= the group of people who control it) are held - ห้องประชุมคณะกรรมการ
  • calamitous (adj): very bad; causing great damage to people's lives, property, etc. - ที่เป็นหายนะ, ที่โชคร้ายอย่างมาก
  • campaign: a series of actions intended to produce political or social change - การรณรงค์
  • cap: to have an upper limit; to have an upper limit on an amount of money that can be spent or borrowed - มีขีดสูงสุด
  • catastrophic: extremely damaging - เหตุร้ายกาจม ความหายนะม ให้ผลหายนะอย่างใหญ่หลวง
  • ceiling: an upper limit - เพดาน ขีดจำกัด
  • century: a period of one hundred years - ศตวรรษ
  • chief: a person with a high rank or the highest rank in a company or an organisation - หัวหน้า, ผู้นำ
  • clap: to hit your hands together again and again at exactly the same time to show enjoyment or appreciation -
  • climate: the general weather conditions usually found in a particular place - สภาพอากาศ
  • climate change (noun): the gradual change in the world's weather that has resulted in dangerous storms and flooding - การเปลี่ยนแปลงสภาพทางภูมิอากาศ
  • coal (noun): a hard black substance that is dug from the ground and burned as fuel to provide heat - ถ่านหิน
  • coastal: of an area of land beside the sea - แนวชายฝั่งทะเล
  • commitment: requirement; something that you must do - ข้อผูกมัด, ข้อสัญญา, ความรับผิดชอบ
  • conference (noun): a large official meeting, usually lasting for a few days, at which people with the same work or interests come together to discuss their views - การประชุมร่วม
  • consensus: a generally accepted opinion or decision among a group of people - ความคิดเห็นของคนส่วนใหญ่
  • consternation (noun): a worried, sad feeling after you have received an unpleasant surprise - ความรู้สึกตกตะลึง
  • cope with: to deal successfully with a difficult situation or job - จัดการกับปัญหา แก้ปัญหา
  • counter: to reply to a criticism or statement that you disagree with - ตอบโต้
  • crafted: done with great skill - ประดิษฐ์โดยใช้ฝีมือ
  • crux (noun): the most important or difficult part of a problem or an issue - ประเด็นหลัก, ประเด็นสำคัญ, จุดสำคัญ
  • current: of the present time - ปัจจุบัน
  • decades: periods of ten years - เป็นสิบๆปี
  • declare: to announce officially - ประกาศ
  • delicate: needing to be dealt with carefully; easily damaged - ยุ่งยาก, ละเอียดอ่อน, ลำบาก, ซับซ้อน
  • demonstration: an occasion when a group of people gather together to support or protest about something - การชุมนุม
  • designate (verb): to formally choose someone or something for a particular purpose - กำหนด, แต่งตั้ง, ที่ได้แต่งตั้ง
  • developing country (noun): a country that is still growing and industrializing and is not yet a rich country - ประเทศกำลังพัฒนา
  • disrupt: to prevent something from continuing as usual or as expected - ทำให้ยุ่งเหยิง, ทำให้ยุ่งยาก
  • doom (verb): to cause to be certain to fail, die or be destroyed ซึ่งถูกกำหนดไว้ว่าจะเกิดเรื่องไม่ดี - ชี้ชะตา
  • drought (noun): a long period of time when there is little or no rain - ฝนแล้ง, ภัยแล้ง, ความแห้งแล้ง)
  • efficiency: the ability to work well and produce good results by using the available time, money, supplies etc in the most effective way - ความมีประสิทธิภาพ
  • effort: an attempt to do something - ความพยายาม
  • eliminate: to get rid of completely - กำจัดหรือขจัดให้หมดไป
  • emerging (adj): of countries that have fast economic growth and growing rich quickly but are still developing - กลุ่มตลาดเกิดใหม่
  • emissions: gases going into the air - การปล่อยก๊าซเสียสู่ท้องฟ้า
  • emit: to send something out into the air - ปล่อยออกมา, แพร่กระจาย
  • enable: to make someone able to do something, or to make something possible - ทำให้เป็นไปได้
  • engulf: to cover or surround something in a way that harms or destroys it - ปกคลุม
  • entail: to involve something that cannot be avoided - นำมา, ทำให้พัวพัน
  • environmentalist: someone who wants to protect the environment - นักสิ่งแวดล้อม, คนที่ทำงานด้านรักษาสิ่งแวดล้อม
  • envoys (noun): people who are sent as representatives from one government or organisation to another - ทูต
  • export: the selling and transporting of goods to another country - สินค้าออก, การส่งสินค้าออกไปต่างประเทศ
  • face: to (likely) have to deal with a problem - เผชิญ, พบ, เจอ
  • flood (noun): a large amount of water covering an area that is usually dry - น้ำท่วม
  • forecast (verb): to say what you think will happen in the future based on information that you have now - ทำนาย, ทาย, พยากรณ์
  • foreign minister: the minister in charge of maintaining relations with other countries and looking after the interests of its citizens living abroad who heads the Foreign Ministry or - รัฐมนตรีว่าการต่างประเทศ
  • formally: officially; following an agreed or official way of doing things - อย่างเป็นทางการ
  • fortnight: a period of two weeks - ในสองสัปดาห์
  • fossil fuel: a fuel such as oil or coal made from decayed material from plants and animals that lived thousands of years ago -
  • gavel: a small hammer used by a person in charge of a meeting or an auction, or by a judge in court, in order to get people's attention - ค้อนเล็กที่ใช้ในการประมูล, ค้อนเล็กสำหรับทุบโต๊ะของผู้พิพากษาในศาล
  • giant (noun): someone, something that is very large, much larger or more important than similar things usually are - ยักษ์
  • global warming (noun): the slow increase in the temperature of the earth over time caused by increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere around the earth (Greenhouse Effect) - การอุ่นขึ้นของโลก, ความร้อนขึ้นของบรรยากาศโลก
  • goal: aim; purpose - เป้าหมาย จุดมุ่งหมาย
  • greenhouse gases (noun): the gases that are thought to cause the greenhouse effect, especially carbon dioxide - แก๊ซที่ทำให้เกิดภาวะเรือนกระจก
  • gruelling: very difficult and tiring, needing great effort for a long time - ทำให้เหนื่อย
  • hammer (noun): in this case, a gavel, a small hammer used by a person in charge of a meeting or an auction, or by a judge in court, in order to get people's attention - ค้อนเล็กที่ใช้ในการประมูล, ค้อนเล็กสำหรับทุบโต๊ะของผู้พิพากษาในศาล
  • historic: of historical importance - ที่สำคัญในประวัติศาสตร์
  • honour: to do what you promised to do - ทำตามสัญญา
  • humanity: people in general - คนทั่วไป, มนุษย์โลก
  • impact (noun): an effect or influence - ผลกระทบ
  • improve: to make better - ทำให้ดีขึ้น
  • industrial revolution: a major change in how industrial products are designed, produced and distributed, affecting large numbers of industries - การปฏิวัติอุตสาหกรรม
  • industry: the people and activities involved in producing a particular thing, or in providing a particular service; the production of goods from raw materials, especially in factories - อุตสาหกรรม
  • insist: to say very firmly that something must happen or must be done - ยืนกราน
  • invisible: unable to be seen  - มองไม่เห็น
  • joy: a feeling of great happiness - ความสุขสันต์,ความสุขสำราญ
  • joyful (adj): feeling great happiness - ที่เปี่ยมไปด้วยความสุข
  • landmark: a major event or achievement that marks an important state in a process and makes progress possible - เหตุการณ์ที่เป็นการแสดงถึงความคืบหน้า
  • limit: the largest or smallest amount, or the highest or lowest level, of something that is allowed - ขอบเขต, เขต
  • limit: to stop something from increasing beyond a particular amount or level - จำกัด
  • lobby: to try to influence someone, e.g., a politician, government official or the government itself - ชักชวน, วิ่งเต้น
  • mankind: all humans, thought about as one large group; the human race - มนุษยชาติ
  • minister: a member of the cabinet, the group of government ministers who make and approve government policy - รัฐมนตรี
  • negotiations: formal discussion in which people or groups try to reach an agreement - การเจรจาต่อรอง
  • net (adj): final, after all the important facts have been included - สุทธิ
  • objection: an expression of opposition to or dislike of something or someone - การไม่เห็นด้วย
  • on record: the highest ever; a new record -
  • on track: likely to be successful; likely to reach a certain level -
  • pact: an agreement between two or more people or organisations in which they promise to do something - ข้อสัญญา, ข้อตกลง
  • palace: the official home of a king, queen, president, etc, a large impressive house - พระราชวัง, ตำหนัก, ปราสาท
  • peak (adj): to reach the highest amount or level, before becoming lower - ขึ้นจนถึงจุดสุดยอด, ช่วงเวลาที่หนาแน่นที่สุด
  • planet: a large round object in space that moves around a star (such as the sun) and receives light from it - ดาวเคราะห์
  • pledge: a serious promise - คำมั่้นสัญญา
  • polar bear (noun): a white bear that lives near the North Pole - หมีขาวขั้วโลก
  • populated (adj): having large numbers of people living there; having things existing there - มีผู้คนจำนวนมากอาศัยอยู่ที่นั่น; อาศัยอยู่
  • positive: good - ที่ดี
  • post-: after something happens .... -
  • predict: to say that an event or action will happen in the future, especially as a result of knowledge or experience - คาดการณ์ว่า พยากรณ์จากสถิติว่า
  • prosperity: the situation of being successful and having a lot of money - ความมั่งคั่ง ความเจริญรุ่งเรือง
  • pursue: to try to achieve something - ดำเนินตาม, พยายามเพื่อให้ได้มาซึ่ง
  • rapid: happening quickly - อย่างรวดเร็ว
  • reaction: the way something responds as a result of something that happens - ปฏิกิริยา การตอบสนอง, ปฏิกิริยาตอบโต้
  • reduction: the process or result of making something smaller or less in amount, size, importance etc - การลดลง
  • release: to allow someone or something to go free - ปล่อย
  • relief: a feeling of happiness that something unpleasant has not happened or has ended - การผ่อนคลาย
  • responsibility: a duty; a duty to deal with or take care of somebody/something, so that you may be blamed if something goes wrong - ความรับผิดชอบ
  • responsible for: to cause something to happen - ก่อให้เกิด
  • revolution (noun): a great change in conditions, ways of working, beliefs, etc. that affects large numbers of people - การเปลี่ยนแปลงอย่างสิ้นเชิง
  • row: a serious disagreement about an issue between people, organisations or countries - การทะเลาะวิวาท
  • scale up (verb): to make larger; to ramp up; to escalate - ยกระดับ
  • seal: to make something certain or complete - รับรอง, ยืนยัน
  • severe: very serious and unpleasant - รุนแรง
  • shed tears: to cry - ร้องไห้
  • shifting (adj): changing - กำลังเปลี่ยนแปลง
  • shoulder: to deal with or accept something difficult - แบกรับภาระ หรือสถานการณ์
  • shout: to speak with a very loud voice, often as loud as possible, usually when you want to make yourself heard in noisy situations - ตะโกน
  • slash: (of a budget, price, etc.) to cut, especially by a large amount - ตัด
  • solar: involving the sun - เกี่ยวกับดวงอาทิตย์
  • source: the place something comes from or starts at, or the cause of something - แหล่ง, แหล่งกำเนิด
  • state: country - ประเทศ
  • state: to formally write or say something, especially in a careful and clear way - บอกกล่าว, แถลง, กล่าว
  • switch: a change - การเปลี่ยน
  • tackle: to make an organised and determined attempt to deal with something - จัดการ, รับมือ
  • target: a particular number or amount that you want to achieve - เป้าหมาย
  • temperature: a measurement of how hot or how cold a place or object is - อุณหภูมิ
  • the lion's share (idiom): the largest or best part of something when it is divided - ส่วนแบ่งที่มากที่สุด, ส่วนแบ่งที่ดีที่สุด
  • thus: as a result of something just mentioned - ดังนั้น
  • turning point: a time when an important change takes place in a situation, especially one that makes it better - จุดที่มีการเปลี่ยนแปลง
  • urgent: needing to be dealt with immediately - ที่เร่งด่วน
  • usher in: to be at the start of a new period, especially when important changes or new things happen, or to cause important changes to start happening - เริ่มต้น, นำเข้ามา
  • vicious circle (noun): vicious cycle, a continuing unpleasant situation, created when one problem causes another problem which then makes the first problem worse - วงจรของปัญหา
  • vital: extremely important; necessary for the success or continued existence of something - จำเป็นสำหรับชีวิต; สำคัญมาก
  • vulnerable: easily damaged or harmed - ซึ่งถูกทำลายได้ง่าย
  • warn: to make someone aware of a possible problem or danger - เตือน
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