Archive for December, 2015

COP21 climate change summit: Obama ‘optimistic’ about agreement

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it’s crunch time to get a deal on what U.S. President Barack Obama calls an “ambitious” global climate change agreement.

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.

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Burkina Faso rebounds from military plot to elect new President

 prez 1 Roch Marc Christian Kabore waves to supporters in Ouagadougou on December 1, 2015 after winning Burkina Faso’s presidential election.

After nearly three decades of autocratic rule followed by a civil uprising, Burkina Faso has a new leader.

Roch Marc Christian Kabore won more than 53% of votes in Sunday’s elections, according to an official tally. The results mean Kabore, a former Prime Minister of the West African nation, will become its next President.

His closest opponent, Zephirin Diabre, conceded defeat after winning less than 30% of votes.

The road to this week’s vote has been bumpy. Just two months ago, a military plot tried to derail the election. Now experts say this looks to be the most democratic polling in the country’s history.

The people have themselves to thank for that, said Chris Fomunyoh from the Washington-based National Democratic Institute, which is overseeing election observers.

Ever since a citizen uprising overthrew President Blaise Compaore a year ago — after he ruled over the country for 27 years — civil society has done a lot of work to assure the quality of this election.

“They feel a sense of ownership,” said Fomunyoh, who is overseeing some 6,000 election observers, all local citizens who have trained up for the task.

worldnews

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‘On the brink of a suicide’

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World leaders opened the talks Monday in Paris saying the stakes are too high to end the conference without achieving a binding agreement to help slow the pace of global climate change.

Their main goal: Agree on legally binding reductions in greenhouse gas emissions meant to hold global average temperatures short of a 2 degrees Celsius increase over preindustrial global temperatures.

Even the Pope weighed in on the magnitude of the conference.

“We are on the brink. We are on the brink of a suicide, to use a strong word, and I am sure that most of those at the COP have this conscience, and want to do something,” Pope Francis said.

On Monday, the leaders of the main players necessary to achieve the ambitious goal — China and the United States — sat down together at the COP21. They are the largest producers of greenhouse gases.

Obama told the conference on Monday that the United States recognizes its role in causing climate change and its role in solving the problem.

“I’ve come here personally, as the leader of the world’s largest economy and the second-largest emitter, to say that the United States of America not only recognizes our role in creating this problem, we embrace our responsibility to do something about it,” Obama said.

“Over the last seven years, we’ve made ambitious investments in clean energy and ambitious reductions in our carbon emissions. We’ve multiplied wind power threefold, and solar power more than twentyfold, helping create parts of America where these clean power sources are finally cheaper than dirtier, conventional power.”

CNN.com

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