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VOA English Newscast 1600 UTC: November 30, 2015

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President Barack Obama delivers remarks during COP21, United Nations Climate Change Conference, in Le Bourget, outside Paris, on Nov. 30, 2015.
President Barack Obama delivers remarks during COP21, United Nations Climate Change Conference, in Le Bourget, outside Paris, on Nov. 30, 2015.

From Washington, this is VOA News.

I'm Joe Palka reporting.

President Barack Obama speaks to UN Climate Summit.

President Obama urged world leaders to 'rise to this moment' Monday, telling them their progress at a U.N. climate summit in Paris will be measured by 'the suffering that is averted and a planet that is preserved.' He called on the delegations to agree to a system that is transparent and gives them confidence everyone else is meeting their commitments.

"Here in Paris, let's secure an agreement that builds on ambition, where progress paves the way for regularly updated targets - targets that are not set for each of us us, but by each of us, taking into account the differences that each nation is facing."

And what, specifically, is at stake for the African nations at the Summit? Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg:

For months, African negotiators have repeated a sort of mantra as they prepared for climate change talks in Paris: worldwide two-degree temperature rise limit, binding agreement, financial help from developed nations.

Bongani Majola, a spokesman for (South African) President Jacob Zuma, explained from Paris.

"We are expecting that there will be some conclusion of the negotiations that started in Durban in 2011 towards a negotiated, legally-binding agreement ... will be bound by an agreement."

But as negotiators gather in Paris this week, the most important thing, a solution, is very much up in the air.

Anita Powell, VOA News, Johannesburg.

The leaders are working to agree on binding measures to keep global temperatures from rising more than two degrees Celsius above pre-Industrial Revolution levels.

This is VOA News.

Words in This Newscast

UN - adj. short for United Nations

summit - n. a conference or meeting

moment - n. a short period of time; the present time

averted - v. to prevent from happening; to avoid

preserved - v. to keep from harm or loss

transparent - adj. easy to see through; honest and open

confidence - n. a feeling that you can do something well

commitment(s) - n. promise

ambition - n. a goal, aim or desire to be successful

regularly - adj. at the same time; very often

updated - v. to improve or change by adding the latest information

take into account - idiom. to pay attention to; to consider

specifically - n. special; clearly presented or stated

at stake - phrase. at risk; at issue

mantra - n. a word or saying that is repeated when someone prays

binding - adj. forcing or requiring someone to do something

conclusion - n. ending

up in the air - expression. to be under consideration

global - adj. involving the world

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