Leaders of 150 nations are in the second day of the COP21 conference Tuesday. COP stands for Conference of Parties, an annual United Nations forum to try to tackle climate change on a global political level.
Many officials will convene in working groups before coming together and potentially hashing out an agreement.
In a wide-ranging press conference on Tuesday before heading back to Washington, Obama said he thinks the conference will succeed.
“I’m optimistic,” he said. “I think we’re going to solve it. I think the issue is just going to be the pace and how much damage is done before we are able to fully apply the brakes.”
Obama listed several criteria for a potential agreement, including an “ambitious target” to reduce carbon output, a slate of tools to measure countries’ progress and a “legally binding” mechanism to ensure countries adhere to their carbon reduction commitments.
He said negotiators should insist upon “a single transparency mechanism that all countries are adhering to.” continue reading