Obama: Climate change an economic, security imperative

US President Barack Obama speaks during a press conference at the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development Centre.
US President Barack Obama speaks during a press conference at the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development Centre. PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (REUTERS, AFP) - United States President Barack Obama said on Tuesday (Dec 1) the world needs an enduring framework for addressing climate change and that he would seek an agreement that would boost economies as well as help the planet's environment.

"If we let the world keep warming as fast as it is and sea levels rising as fast as they are and weather patterns keep shifting in more unexpected ways, then before long we are going to have to devote more and more and more of our economic resources not to growing opportunity for our people but to adapting to the various consequences of the changing climate," he said at a press conference in Paris. "This is an economic and security imperative that we have to tackle now."

World leaders had on Monday (Nov 30) launched an ambitious attempt to hold back the earth's rising temperatures, with the United States and China urging the climate summit in Paris to mark a decisive turn in the fight against global warming.

Negotiators tasked with saving Earth's climate system embarked on Tuesday (Dec 1) scrambled to shape a labyrinthine 54-page text into a blueprint that can be approved by Dec 11.

The goal - endorsed ringingly by around 150 heads of state and government at the start of the talks on Monday (Nov 30) - is to commit every nation to a post-2020 pact to roll back emissions of carbon gases.