Nations Approve Landmark Climate Accord in Paris
Delegates who have been negotiating intensely in this Paris suburb for two weeks gathered for the final plenary session, where suddenly, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius of France asked for opposition to the deal and, hearing none, gaveled the session closed.
With that, the delegates achieved what had been unreachable for two decades: a consensus on the need to move away from carbon-based fuels and a plan for the 195 nations to do so.
Though the final deal did not achieve all that environmentalists, scientists and some countries had hoped for, it set the table for further efforts to slow down the slide toward an unlivable planet.
In the end, it was an extraordinary effort at international diplomacy. Supporters of a deal argued that no less than the future of the planet was at stake, and in the days leading up to the final session, they worked relentlessly to push skeptical nations to join their ranks.