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THE PROGRESSIVE REVIEW - December 3, 2015
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*-- Obama predicts Democrat will succeed him during climate change conference --*
PARIS - President Barack Obama on Tuesday predicted a Democrat would succeed him as commander-in-chief in next year's presidential election.
Obama made the comment during a press conference as part of the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, where world leaders are attempting to create a legally binding and universal agreement on reducing global carbon emissions, with the hopes of holding global average temperatures short of a 2 degree Celsius increase over pre-industrial global temperatures.
"I am anticipating a Democrat succeeding me. I am confident in the wisdom of the American people on that front," Obama said. "Even if somebody from a different party succeeded me, one of the things you find when you're in the this job, you think about it differently than when you're just running for the job.
"What you realize is American leadership involves not just playing to a narrow constituency back home, but you now are in fact at the center of what happens around the world," Obama added.
Obama praised France's "remarkable display of resolve" for hosting the climate conference just weeks after the Islamic State carried out coordinated attacks in Paris that killed at least 130 people.
The attacks have renewed an urgency to resolve the Syrian civil war, particularly in the aspect of combating the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, Daesh and ISIL.
"Here in Paris we all see the resilience of the universal values that we share," Obama said. "Based on my discussions with President [Francois] Hollande and other leaders, I am confident that we can continue building momentum and adding resources to our efforts to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL, to disrupt plots against America and our allies and to bring about the political resolution necessary to resolve the situation in Syria and relieve the hardships on the Syrian people."
Earlier in his trip to France, Obama made a surprise visit to the Le Bataclan memorial site late Sunday, where about 89 people died in the Islamic State's attacks in Paris on Nov. 13. Obama, Hollande and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo observed a few minutes of silence in front of the concert hall and each placed a white rose in front of the building.
"I know some have asked why the world would dedicate some of our focus right now to combating climate change even as we work to protect our people and go after terrorist networks," Obama said. "The reason is because this one trend, climate change, affects all trends."
On Monday, Obama warned climate change could be the most dramatic threat to the world, in which immediate, global action is needed. He also recognized the United States' role in creating the climate problem.
Obama said he hopes world leaders can come to agreement on the issue of climate change before it's too late.
"If we let the world keep warming as fast as it is, and sea levels rising as fast as they are, and weather patterns keep shifting in more unexpected ways, then before long we are going to have to devote more and more and more of our economic and military resources not to growing opportunity for our people, but to adapting to the various consequences of the changing climate," Obama said.
"This is an economic and security imperative that we have to tackle now," Obama added.
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