Why will Paris upcoming “loose” climate change agreement work better than the previous ones?

Participation of Miguel Arias Cañete, EU Commissioner for Energy and Climate Action, at the INDC Forum organised in Rabat, Morocco (EC Audiovisual Services, 13/10/2015)

Participation of Miguel Arias Cañete, EU Commissioner for Energy and Climate Action, at the INDC Forum organised in Rabat, Morocco (EC Audiovisual Services, 13/10/2015)

It was only last Tuesday when the European Commission (EC) together with the Moroccan government, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) convened at the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) Forum in Morocco to discuss the overall effect of countries’ contributions to the climate agreement which is going to be concluded in December at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris. The outcome of the Forum was that a global climate effort is greatly increasing but more endeavours are needed in order to reduce global warming in fact.

The European Parliament (EP), in view of the COP21 next month, convened two days ago and voted in favour of a global agreement that can fight climate change by targeting mainly to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and increase the relevant climate finance commitments.

As far as Europe’s contribution is concerned, it is certain that we are on the right track, with the United Kingdom (UK) to lead the way. Not only UK announced a £5.8bn climate finance pledge but also has reduced the carbon intensity of its economy more than the rest 20 biggest economies in the world (G20). Furthermore, France and Germany are following the race in carbon intensity cuts and in climate finance pledges, strengthening the EU commitment in the fight against climate change.

However, the new anticipated climate agreement is not going to include punishment measures or sanctions for the countries that will not be in line with the targets. This decision was clearly made due to the unwillingness of many member states to legally bind to it.

Recognition for a long-term climate approach

The INDC Forum though brought together around 200 experts from different backgrounds and all stressed the need for further and stronger commitments if we want to tackle the climate change issue. Particularly, Miguel Arias Cañete, EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy mentioned: “The initial contributions on the table make a significant difference, but these alone will not be enough to keep global warming below 2 degrees. That’s why in Paris we need to agree a long-term goal to guide our efforts, a process for taking stock of the progress made and raising ambition, and robust transparency and accountability rules. The new deal must show to the world that governments are united, determined and serious when it comes to fighting climate change.”

EP puts pressure on the EU for a legally binding agreement

The EP will be represented by 15 Members who will go to Paris to urge for commitments on reducing the greenhouse gas emissions to 80-95% below 1990 levels by 2050 and raise up the financing attributed to climate up to $100bn a year by 2020. The Parliament will also focus on the transportation which is the second-largest sector producing greenhouse gas emissions and will try to persuade the member states to implement measures that will be able to reduce emissions through the participation of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

UK: EU’s climate panache

Even though UK’s finance pledge is smaller than the German or the French one, UK has managed to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emitted, per dollar of economic output, by 10.9% in 2014 according to a relevant report published by the accounting firm PWC. That was accomplished mainly by reducing burning coal.

What is more, energy-related emissions dropped by 8.7% while the economy experienced a 2.6% growth. The latter reveals that economies can grow at a fast pace while targeting at the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, which can lead to the desired goal of limiting the temperature rise since preindustrial times to 2 degrees Celsius.

Further efforts in a loose regime; will it work?

The Paris agreement is going to be concluded in less than two months but under a framework that will probably not impose “punishments” to the parties which do not comply with the rules. This is also supported by Christiana Figueres , head of the U.N. Climate Change Secretariat who pointed that: “ The overwhelming view of member states is that any agreement has to be much more collaborative than punitive, if it is to happen at all. Even if you do have a punitive system, that doesn’t guarantee that it is going to be imposed or would lead to any better action.”

But is this the case or is it too difficult (not to say impossible) to impose sanctions to the parties that fell short to the climate commitments? According to Yvo de Boer, the UN’s former top climate official, the Kyoto Protocol “was to be legally binding, but it became very clear that a lot of countries didn’t want sanctions” and weren’t imposed any when violating or abandoning the agreement.

Consequently, we end up to a Protocol that has to reduce greenhouse gas emissions dramatically over the next decades and keep global warming temperature under the 2 C barrier, but with no legal bindings whatsoever. Is this going to work at all?

The next meeting regarding the climate agreement is to be held in Born on 19-23 October and is the last gathering before the major COP21. This is the last chance for all parties to assemble a beneficial and realistic plan to be sealed in Paris. The European Sting will be monitoring the matter closely.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

‘Terminator’ warlord Bosco Ntaganda sentenced to 30 years in prison for DR Congo atrocities

EU trade agreements: delivering new opportunities in time of global economic uncertainties

EU Budget 2019: MEPs increase funding on youth, migration and research

Council strongly criticised over failing to act to protect EU values in Hungary

The two big uncertainties shaping our future

Draghi will not hesitate to zero ECB’s basic interest rate

A Sting Exclusive: “Paris is the moment for climate justice”, Swedish MEP Linnéa Engström claims from Brussels

What the future of trust looks like

IMF’s Lagarde: Ukraine must fight corruption

Ship Recycling is the Commission’s Titanic

Migration: Better travel safe than sorry

Chart of the day: This is how many animals we eat each year

Can Argentina’s new president save the country’s economy?

Top UN officials sound alarm as Yemen fighting nears vital hospital in port city of Hudaydah

What lies ahead for the Korean Peninsula?

Ebola outbreak in DR Congo declared over, now let’s tackle other health challenges: WHO chief

Missile strike kills at least 12 civilians, including children, in Syria’s Idlib: UN humanitarians

This farmer used an age-old technique to save his soil and now his farm is prospering

FROM THE FIELD: Survival in Yemen against all odds

ICC Appeals Chamber acquits former Congolese Vice President Bemba from war crimes charges

Superbugs: MEPs advocate further measures to curb use of antibiotics

From cheeseburgers to coral reefs, the science of decision-making can change the world

The issue of mental health for modern young doctors

Chart of the day: These countries have the highest share of electric vehicles

UN agriculture agency chief calls on world’s mayors to make ‘global commitments local realities’

We can build a carbon-neutral world by 2050. Here’s how

These cities have the best quality of life

Crucial medical supplies airlifted to north-east Syria to meet ‘desperate need’

Human rights on film: International festival celebrates mobile phone films for a cause

Russia can no longer be considered a ‘strategic partner’, say MEPs

FROM THE FIELD: Argentina Preserving Pristine Forests

EU elections: Can EU citizens’ awareness eradicate fake news more efficiently than Facebook, Twitter and Google?

Poor Greeks, Irish and Spaniards still pay for the faults of German and French banks

Children who exercise have more brain power, finds study

7 ways business can be agents for peace

UN envoy commends successful conclusion of Guinea-Bissau presidential election

Safe drinking water, sanitation, are ‘basic human rights’: new UN Water Development report

5 ways the world is rallying around Australia as bushfires rage

Why we need a moderate approach to moderating online content

The EU banking union needs a third pillar guaranteeing deposits

The cost of healthcare is rising in ASEAN. How can nations get the most for their money?

We can meet the SDGs using the wisdom of crowds. Here’s how

The ECB again takes care of the bankers not the people

Turkey caught in a vicious Syrian circle bringing terror and war at home

How our food system is eating away at nature, and our future

These tech start-ups are changing what it means to farm

This is how much the US-China trade war could cost the world, according to new research

EU-US trade deal: Europe to Americanize its social model?

Main results of EU Environment Council, 25/06/2018

OECD Steel Committee concerned about excess capacity in steel sector

Jo Cox’s murderer believed the ‘leave’ campaign leaders that the ‘remain’ vote is treason

Can a Bavarian Oktoberfest beer indulger bring down the Berlin government?

The European Commission and EU consumer authorities publish final assessment of dialogue with Volkswagen

Hiring more female leaders is good for profits. Here’s the evidence

A 3-step plan for carbon-neutral cars

Press coverage of migration crisis in Europe: a call for collaborative action

Is academia losing its chance to capitalize on technology?

Global warming: our responsibility

Where EU air pollution is deadliest

To hope or doubt? The state of women’s progress in the world

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s