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Talking Points: Franken On Paris Climate Agreement

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- The historic climate change agreement reached in Paris this weekend means that for the first time in history nearly every nation in the world has agreed to work towards lowering greenhouse gas emissions and slow the rate at which the earth is warming.

While the deal is seen as a victory for President Barack Obama in the United States, there are real questions as to whether some provisions can be implemented over the objections of Republicans.

Some of the key provisions of the climate deal include a pledge by the 195 nations to switch from burning oil, coal and gas to clean and renewable energy sources, like solar power. The accord calls for the global average temperature rise to be held to less than 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

Wealthy countries, like the U.S., have agreed to contribute $100 billion a year to help poor countries move away from fossil fuels. That is one area where Republicans in Congress are expected to object.

Supporters of the agreement, including Sen. Al Franken, are optimistic.

"I believe we will get this through," he said on WCCO Sunday Morning. "We are negotiating an omnibus bill right now, negotiations have taken longer than anyone had hoped, but I think included in that will be funding for this."

The reductions in emissions are voluntary. Nations will have to report back in five years on their progress.

The end goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050.


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