LE BOURGET, France — To rousing cheers and tears of relief, envoys from 195 nations approved Saturday an accord to stop global warming, offering hope that humanity can avert catastrophic climate change and usher in an energy revolution.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius ended nearly a fortnight of gruelling U.N. negotiations in Paris with the bang of a gavel, marking consensus among the ministers, who stood for several minutes to clap and shout their joy.
“I see the room, I see the reaction is positive, I hear no objection. The Paris climate accord is adopted,” Fabius declared.
Turning to a little green hammer with which he formally gave life to the arduously-crafted pact, he quipped: “It may be a small gavel but it can do big things.”
The deal, to take effect from 2020, ends decades-long rows between rich and poor nations over how to carry out what will be a multi-trillion-dollar effort to cap global warming and deal with consequences already occurring.