Obama: Climate talks should be 'legally binding'

Posted at 9:02 AM, Dec 01, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-01 09:02:03-05

(CNN) -- A successful outcome for the Paris climate talks will include a "legally binding" mechanism to ensure countries adhere to their carbon reduction commitments, President Barack Obama said Tuesday.

Speaking at a press conference at end of his visit to the French capital, Obama listed several criteria for a potential agreement, including an "ambitious target" to reduce carbon output and a slate of tools to measure countries' progress.

He said negotiators should insist upon "a single transparency mechanism that all countries are adhering to" and said those mechanisms must be "legally binding." The nature of the Paris accord has been in dispute, since a legally binding pact — if considered a treaty — would require congressional approval.

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