Climate Negotiators Reach Global Climate Agreement

13/12/2015 9:12 AM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, left, listens to South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se during a joint news conference following meetings at the Foreign Ministry in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, May 21, 2015. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

A deal on tackling climate change has been brokered in Paris after almost 200 nations agreed to curb carbon emissions and combat global warming.

After nearly two weeks of negotiations, 195 nations reached the agreement, with countries adopting the final text at on Sunday morning Australian time.

The deal pledges to restrict CO2 emissions and keep global warming to "well below" 2C.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said the deal was a "pivotal moment" but noted that it did not include everything she had hoped.

"However, this agreement does give us a strategy to work together over coming years and decades to build the strong and effective action the world needs," Bishop told the conference.

She called the agreement an "historic step" in the global response to climate change.

"The Paris Agreement provides for five yearly review of national targets, underpinned by a rules based system that will assess whether countries are meeting their commitments," she said in a statement.

"It recognises and responds to the needs of the most vulnerable countries, including our island neighbours in the Pacific."

According to the BBC, the accord is the first to commit all countries to cut carbon emissions.

It is partly legally binding and partly voluntary.

It seeks to limit global warming to 1.5C.

The pact was reached nearly 16 hours after the talks had been scheduled to close.

It will come into effect in 2020.

US President Barack Obama took to Twitter in the wake of the deal, saying "This is huge."

Australian politicians and diplomats were also quick to tweet following the historic accord.

Obama said the deal put the "world on a course to the low-carbon future".

"We came together around the strong agreement the world needed. We met the moment," he said in Washington.

"I ... want to thank the people of nearly 200 nations, large and small, developed and developing, for working together to confront a threat to the people of all nations.

"Together we have shown what's possible when the world stands as one."

He said the global community couldn't be complacent despite the agreement as the problem of carbon emissions wasn't solved.

"Even if all the initial targets set in Paris are met, we'll only be part of the way there when it comes to reducing carbon from the atmosphere," he added.

The Climate Institute welcomed the agreement, but said Australia needed to do more to address climate change.

"In order to maintain any credibility, it now needs to urgently lift its game on pollution targets, financial support for the world’s most vulnerable countries, Kyoto commitments and, perhaps most importantly, its domestic policies," it said in a statement.

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