President Obama, In Paris, Says He's Confident Climate Deal Will Be Reached (Video) | KERA News

President Obama, In Paris, Says He's Confident Climate Deal Will Be Reached (Video)

Dec 1, 2015

President Barack Obama says he's confident the world will forge a major climate change agreement in the coming weeks.

Obama told reporters he's "convinced that we're going to get big things done here."

Obama spoke Tuesday as he ended a two-day trip to Paris for a United Nations conference on climate. He was among dozens of leaders who descended on the city to kick off the final weeks of talks on an international agreement to reduce global carbon emissions

Obama says he wants to see a deal that allows countries to continue to update their carbon-reduction targets regularly and one that allows developing nations to use new technology to "skip the dirty phase of development." He says a deal is critical to the global economy and to U.S. national security.

President Obama says he hopes the shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado spurs conversation and action on deterring gun violence.

Obama, speaking at the global warming conference, says it will ultimately be up to Congress, states and local governments to act in ways that prevent people intent on committing violence from getting weapons.

He says the United States spends enormous resources to prevent terrorist attacks and the country has the power to do much more to prevent regular occurrence of gun homicides.

Last week's attack in Colorado killed three people. Nine others were wounded.

Earlier this morning, we streamed NPR's coverage of the press conference, as well as live video. Scroll down to watch the press conference again.

NPR has a recap of the president's remarks.

Video: Watch the press conference

Developments from the climate change conference

The Associated Press reports:

  • President Barack Obama says the private sector needs to have a seat at the table as the world's governments attempt to curb global warming. He says governments will set the targets that nations will try to reach, but it will be scientists, private sector investors and workers who will largely determine whether those goals are met.
  • British Prime Minister David Cameron, urging fellow world leaders to pursue cuts in man-made carbon dioxide emissions, said: "We should ask what will we say to our grandchildren if we fail. ... Instead of making excuses tomorrow, let's take action today." Prince Charles, French President Francois Hollande and the prime minister of Tuvalu were among others who invoked future generations to stress the importance of a long-term deal. More than 150 leaders met Monday in an unusual diplomatic effort to give impetus to two weeks of U.N.-led talks aiming at a new global climate accord.
  • Leaders of small island nations are pleading for their survival, asking bigger countries to do more to cut emissions and help threatened nations cope with rising seas and wilder storms blamed on man-made global warming. Peter M. Christian, president of the Pacific nation of Micronesia, called on U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to declare a worldwide state of emergency. Christian said Monday: "The challenge is to save ourselves, not someone else, but ourselves." The prime minister of the Pacific country of Tuvalu, Enele Sosene Sopoaga, adds that "any further temperature increase will spell the total demise of Tuvalu."

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin says he and President Obama have a shared understanding on how to move toward a political settlement in Syria, but added that incidents like the recent downing of a Russian warplane by a Turkish fighter jet stymie broader cooperation against extremism. Putin and Obama had a half-hour meeting Monday on the sidelines of the climate summit near Paris.

Photo: Stephane Mahe/Reuters