World leaders in the French capital are working against the clock to broker a deal that would stave off the most devastating effects of climate change as the 2015 United Nations COP21 conference enters its second and final week.
On Monday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reminded the more than 150 diplomats that the decisions they make this week will “reverberate down through the ages.”
“Centuries of human endeavor and innovation have given the world great gifts. Yet we have also sown the potential seeds of our own destruction,” Ban said. “The clock is ticking toward climate catastrophe. The world is expecting more from you than half-measures and incremental approaches. It is calling for a transformative agreement. Paris must put the world on track for long-term peace, stability and prosperity.”
The representatives are trying to finalize an accord that would limit global warming to less than 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit above pre-Industrial Revolution levels. They met a Saturday deadline to draft a blueprint but still need to hammer out vital issues, such as how the U.N. would monitor any given country’s progress in curbing carbon dioxide emissions.