WASHINGTON D.C. —
Zimbabwe is hailing the climate change agreement reached in Paris at the weekend as a potential turning point for the world, especially struggling developing countries that have been feeling the pain caused by changing weather patterns.
Under the deal, all nations will communicate their climate targets every five years, starting in 2020.
The agreement sets up a transparency system where countries will not only disclose carbon emissions, but the source of those emissions and what nations are doing to mitigate greenhouse gases.
Delegates of more than 190 nations meeting in Paris adopted the historic accord Saturday. The agreement aims to slow the pace of global warming and for the first time asks all countries to limit their greenhouse gas emissions.
Announcement of the final accord was greeted with cheers, hugs and prolonged applause at the conference hall in Paris.
The final draft of the agreement was circulated several hours before the meeting concluded, after an all-night work session in which the text was shortened from 43 to 31 pages and simplified.
The agreement aims to keep global temperature increases below two degrees Celsius, provide $100 billion in climate investment to poorer countries, review progress every five years, and peak carbon emissions as soon as possible.
Permanent Secretary Prince Mupazviriho of the Environment Water and Climate Ministry said negotiations were pain-staking.
“This is as a result of protracted negotiations. We spent quite a number of nights without going to bed,” he said. “This was because we wanted to find common ground, we wanted to find solutions so we are very optimistic in relation to the reduction of the emission percentage to 1.5.”
He said the agreement will go a long way in addressing the pressing issues about climate change.
But Mupazviriho said Zimbabwe and Africa in general were still unhappy a number of issues.
“We are not happy in areas to do with funding and financing as it relates to the issues of losses and damages,” he said. “We are not developed but we are suffering from climate change so those who have damaged the environment – the developed world should compensate for that.”
In a statement from the White House Saturday evening, United States President Barack Obama called the agreement "the best chance we've had to save the one planet that we've got."
"So I believe this moment can be a turning point for the world," he said. "We've shown that the world has both the will and the ability to take on this challenge."