The Latest: World Bank chief in 'a happy shock' after climate deal

PARIS – The latest related to the U.N. climate conference that took place outside Paris (all times local):

2:20 p.m.

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim says he was stunned by the Paris climate agreement adopted by more than 190 countries.

Kim told The Associated Press in a phone interview that he was “in a bit of a shock, a happy shock” after the deal was gaveled on Saturday.

He said he woke up Sunday much more optimistic about the world his children would inherit.

He said the Paris talks concluded with “something far more ambitious than the highest hopes” going into the negotiations.

Kim highlighted the goal in the agreement of pursuing efforts to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees C (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit), compared to pre-industrial levels. That’s more ambitious than the 2-degree goal that had guided the talks in the past.

Some question whether it’s realistic, given that the world is projected to warm by around 3 degrees C even with current efforts to reduce heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions.

“It’s going to be hugely challenging,” Kim said. “But I think for me what this agreement does is it tells us, whether you think it’s realistic or not, get to work.”


1:50 p.m.

Pope Francis is encouraging concerted efforts by all so that the climate pact reached in Paris can be put into action.

Francis has made care for the Earth’s environment one of his papacy’s themes, insisting that the world’s poor suffer heavily when climate change isn’t addressed.

Speaking to pilgrims and tourists Sunday at the Vatican, he said the deal’s “implementation requires concerted effort and generous dedication by the part of everyone.”

Francis expressed hope that “special attention, paid to the most vulnerable, be guaranteed.” He also urged “the entire international community to continue, with solicitude, on the path undertaken, in the sign of solidarity that will become ever more positive.”


12:00 p.m.

Israel’s prime minister is welcoming the climate agreement signed in Paris.

Speaking at his weekly Cabinet meeting Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the deal “important.” He said Israel has an interest, like other countries, in slowing down global warming if not halting it altogether.

Israel’s Environmental Protection Minister Avi Gabbay said a budget of about $200 million has been devoted to meet climate targets. He said Israel would move toward renewable energy sources, cleaner technology and more public transport. He said: “We have a lot of steps to do and we are doing it now.”

Israel as a small country is not among the world’s heaviest polluters, but it relies on fossil fuels for transport and to generate electricity.


11:00 a.m.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is applauding the global pact to fight climate change that was adopted by nearly 200 nations in Paris.

Merkel said in a statement released late Saturday that the climate agreement marks “the first time that the entire world community has obligated itself to act — to act in the battle against global climate change.”

The German chancellor said while there was still a lot of work ahead, the deal is a “sign of hope that we will manage to secure the life conditions of billions of people for the future.”

The Paris agreement adopted Saturday aims to keep global warming from rising another degree Celsius (1.8 Fahrenheit) between now and 2100, a key demand of poor countries ravaged by rising sea levels and other effects of climate change.


This story has been corrected to show the correct second reference to Jim Yong Kim is Kim, not Jim.