The 31-page final draft agreement has been released at the UN Paris climate change summit COP21. The "fair and balanced document" would limit emissions to keep global warming below 2C by the end of the century.
This had been an area of contention earlier in the week when a draft of the document was released – at the time, negotiators were still undecided on what the main goal of the summit would be, raising concerns over whether an agreement would be made. However, speaking earlier today – a day after the talks were supposed to have ended – French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said the final version was fair to all nations involved: "This text contains the principal elements that we did feel before would be impossible to achieve. It is differentiated, fair, durable, dynamic, balanced and legally binding. It is faithful to the Durban mandate."
World leaders will now have to agree to the legally binding document to bring it into effect. At present, delegates will be looking at the fine details of the agreement. The meeting will reconvene at 2.45pm GMT, when steps will be taken for the deal to be adopted.
Environmental campaigners have welcomed the document, with Nicholas Stern, chairman of the Grantham Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, saying: "The Paris agreement is a turning point in the world's fight against unmanaged climate change, which threatens prosperity and well-being among both rich and poor countries. The agreement creates enormous opportunities as countries begin to accelerate along the path towards low-carbon economic development and growth."
However, others remain cautious about the future and where the money to pay for the deal will come from. Greenpeace UK executive director John Sauven said: "The glass is half full, not half empty, but who is paying for the next round is the key question. Will it be the fossil fuel industry that now has to be phased out or people across the globe who will ultimately pick up the tab if there is lack of action following the successful climate talks?"
Adrian Ramsay, CEO of the Centre for Alternative Technology, said "We welcome the deal to keep global temperature rise to well below 2C, with an aim to keep it below 1.5C – this is a significant step forward in the global recognition of the dangers of climate change. However, the deal does not set out a timeline for the phasing out of fossil fuels, and therefore fails to offer a good chance of meeting its own target.
"The COP agreement must rapidly convert its goals into new national pledges in line with what the science tells us about how much remaining carbon can safely be burned. It should also acknowledge that the major share of this belongs to developing nations that have not been burning coal, oil and gas for the past 150 years.
"To have a reasonable chance of meeting the 2C goal, all investment in new fossil fuels must be halted now – both coal and fracking. Public funds spent subsidising fossil fuels should be redirected into renewable energy and used to support poorer majority world countries to build the clean energy infrastructure they need."
Before the release of the deal, François Hollande urged delegates to make the agreement. "We are at a decisive moment in time. There's only one relevant question and you are the only ones who can answer – do we want an agreement that did not see the light of day in Copenhagen? The gridlock which for years was a great source of disappointment who wanted the planet to have a future. This gridlock cast doubt on the international community.
"But it is you, and the work you have done over the past months and days, it is you and you only who have the answer to this question. We have to take that last stand to reach our goal. The text has been prepared and submitted. It is ambitious but realistic. It reconciles responsibility and especially that of the richest countries but it also involves differentiation. You will make a choice for your country, continent, and the world. This will be a major leap for mankind."