IMF's Lagarde calls Paris climate agreement 'critical step forward'

Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde speaks at a press conference at the Treasury in London, which was attended by Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, December 11, 2015. REUTERS/Stefan Rousseau/Pool (Reuters)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde on Saturday hailed the landmark accord reached in Paris "a critical step forward" for addressing global climate change in the 21st century and said her key message is to "price carbon right." "Governments must now put words into actions, in particular by implementing policies that make effective progress on the mitigation pledges they have made," Lagarde said in a statement. "That is why my key message is to price carbon right and to do it now." [nL8N1410F] "Charging for the emissions of fossil fuels puts in place the needed incentives for low-carbon investments; it also provides revenues to safeguard the poor, reduce debt, and lower the burden of other taxes on households and businesses," Lagarde added. "We look forward to dialogue on carbon pricing and helping governments put this vital policy into practice." (Reporting by Idrees Ali and Will Dunham; Editing by Sandra Maler)