Obama, Hollande call for "ambitious" global climate change deal

Source: Reuters - Mon, 10 Feb 2014 14:44 GMT
Author: Reuters
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A cyclist passes the U.S. and French flags flying over the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, which houses a majority of offices for White House staff, in Washington, Feb. 10, 2014. French President Francois Hollande starts a state visit to the United States on Monday. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
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PARIS, Feb 10 (Reuters) - The presidents of the United States and France have called for a global pact to fight climate change in a joint op-ed published on Monday, the first day of a visit to Washington by French leader Francois Hollande.

He and Barack Obama urged more clean energy partnerships to create jobs, as well as support for developing countries as they shift to low-carbon energy.

"As we work toward next year's climate conference in Paris, we continue to urge all nations to join us in pursuit of an ambitious and inclusive global agreement that reduces greenhouse gas emissions through concrete actions," read the op-ed published in the Washington Post and Le Monde newspapers.

Although France has repeatedly called for ambitious carbon cuts, the European Union scaled back its long-term climate goals in January due to difficult economic conditions.

The new emission targets fall short of what some scientists and environmentalists say is needed to prevent the worst effects of climate change.

The United States, Japan and Canada have also scaled back their climate commitments.

International talks to try to agree on a successor to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, the first and only international agreement to tackle climate change, are due to be held in Paris next year.

A new global pact might include pledges on curbing greenhouse gas emissions and measures to enable the poorest nations to adapt better to climate change.

The United States, recently overtaken by China as the world's top carbon polluter, has never ratified the Kyoto pact.

Talks during Hollande's first state visit to the United States will include Iran, Syria and a U.S.-European Union trade deal. (Reporting by Alexandria Sage; Editing by Alistair Lyon)

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