COP21 Paris agreement: a non legally-binding climate pact won’t stop effectively global warming while EU’s Cañete throws hardest part to next Commission

Paris COP21 Agreement UN 12 DecemberLast Saturday the COP21 Paris agreement was unanimously signed by 195 countries in Le Bourget, France. Everyone voted in favor of the new attempt to reverse the downhill of our planet regarding temperature rise and agreed to take all the necessary actions to cut all fossil fuels subsidies by the end of this century. This is seen by many scientists and mainly politicians as the forerunner to deal with climate change and leading to a cleaner environment.

If one takes a good look at this agreement though, she will realise that it is not legally binding for the nations involved. The latter basically means that a country is not subject to sanctions in case it will not meet the climate targets set to address the reduction of the greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). This was obviously the only way to persuade some of the biggest economies of the world such as U.S., China, India and others to sign the climate change pact. It has to be noted also that this is the final draft version which must be ratified by at least 55 nations that represent 55% of the global warming emissions.

Paris Agreement’s goals

The major concern of the world’s community regarding climate change is to limit global warming. This goal is addressed at this agreement and the target is to manage global temperature increase to well below the threshold of 2 degrees Celsius and reduce it even more up to 1,5 degrees. However, this long-term goal seems quite unrealistic if one takes into account that the global temperature has risen almost 1 degree so far. What is more, analysts have calculated that the global temperature will rise 2,7 degrees with the current emission cuts pledges made till now; something that will cause devastating consequences not only to our planet but to humankind as well forcing numerous populations to migrate. PwC’s consultants underscored the gap between current policies and the 2 degrees goal. Countries must double their carbon-cutting efforts from 3 to 6.3% per year in order to reach it according to that study.

Another noteworthy target that is written inside the 31-page Paris agreement is that countries must reevaluate their pledges before 2020 and continue doing so every five years thereafter. This is a constructive way to produce better intended nationally determined contributions (INDC) every five years, adding to the improvement of the emissions cuts. More specifically, each country’s pledge must “represent a progression” on their previous one “and reflect its highest possible ambition”.

The long-lasting issue that involves the climate funding of the poorer developing countries is also taken into account during the negotiations of this agreement. The amount of $100 billion will be invested every year until 2025 in order to help nations that are under-developed to reduce their GHG and to promote “greener” technologies. The financial aid is supposed to be increased in the years to come post 2025. Nonetheless, it needs to be mentioned that developing countries had insisted on making this a legally-binding commitment but unfortunately it was not accepted due to the disagreement of economies like the U.S.

EU green targets

Europe has been one of the leading powers in the climate change fight. So far it has almost reached its 2020 pledges which are to reduce its GHG by 20% compared to 1990 levels. The next optimistic target is to cut emissions by at least 40% by 2030, a target that is quite ambitious but towards the right path to put a permanent stop to fossil fuels by 2100.

However, the climate and energy commissioner Miguel Arias Canete mentioned two days ago at a Brussels press conference that the EU is not going to promote any more grandiose plans before 2020. More in detail, Mr Canete stated: “In 2020 we can come along with more ambition but it will be for the next commission”.  Emissions are expected to fall from 22-27% by 2020 but there is still room for improvement while Adidas, Puma, Aldi and 27 other German businesses urged Brussels last Monday to adopt tougher targets by changing its target from 27 to 40%.

Is the Paris Agreement just about promises?

Professor James Hansen, also known as the “father of climate change awareness” characterised the climate change pact signed in Paris as “fraud” and that there is “no action, just promises”. The climate specialist added also that “we’ll have a 2C warming target and then try to do a little better every five years. It’s just worthless words. As long as fossil fuels appear to be the cheapest fuels out there, they will be continued to be burned”.

If one considers that this agreement comes after the failure in Copenhagen in 2009, then this is a great success. But does it have a practical impact on climate? Possibly Mr Hansen is right when he said that it is just promises because when a country is voluntarily setting its climate goals and can disobey at any time, then it is not enough to win this fierce race.

All in all, there is still a dear need for initiatives addressed to businesses and people to support climate following techniques that will reduce emissions and global warming effectively.

Follow Chris on Twitter @CAnyfantis

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

Trump’s Pandemic Failure: A Missed Opportunity

Young people struggling in digital world, finds latest OECD PISA survey

Governments must take further action to boost job opportunities at an older age

EU Youth Conference in Riga concludes with recommendations for ministers

Human Rights breaches in Russia, Afghanistan and Burkina Faso

5G is here: PT Expo China 2019 will be held October 31 – November 3, in association with The European Sting

FROM THE FIELD: Crisis in Kassala FROM THE FIELD: Crisis in Kassala

Car-free day – and the other 364 days of the year

Oh, well, you are wrong, Google responds to the European Commission

As the Universal Declaration of Human Rights turns 70 – is it time for a new approach?

Humanitarian crisis in Yemen remains the worst in the world, warns UN

Google and Apple suddenly realise that doing business in EU is tough?

Parliament elects the von der Leyen Commission

David Attenborough’s worried about this ocean threat – and it’s not plastic

5 ways Coca-Cola is cleaning up its plastic footprint in Africa

The moment of truth for global energy transition is here

How the ‘California effect’ could shape a global approach to ethical AI

Somalia has ‘once in a generation’ gender equality opportunity – UN Women chief

‘No justification’ for attacks against civilians, UN envoy says on mounting cross-border violence in Gaza

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

State aid: Commission approves €1.2 billion French “Fonds de solidarité” scheme for small enterprises in temporary financial difficulties due to coronavirus outbreak

Hurricane Dorian: Bahamas death toll expected to rise as thousands remain missing

The time for cities to get smart is now

Turning Europe into a giant wind farm could power the entire world

Taliban-led violence during recent Afghan polls leaves record high numbers of civilians dead – UN

‘Agile’, multilateral response vital to combat terrorism – UN chief Guterres

EU adopts rebalancing measures in reaction to US steel and aluminium tariffs

While EU Open Days 2013 discuss the 2020 strategy, Microsoft shares a glimpse of EU 2060

Fail fast, fail better: 3 ways companies can master innovation

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

More than 3,400 classrooms damaged or destroyed by Cyclone Idai in Mozambique, says UN Children’s Fund

Coronavirus: Commission welcomes Parliament’s quick green light for proposed new resources to protect lives and livelihoods

We can’t rid Asia of natural disasters. But we can prepare for them

“InvestEU”: MEPs support new programme to boost financing for jobs and growth

Here are 3 alternative visions for the future of work

From diamonds to recycling: how blockchain can drive responsible and ethical businesses

UN Committee says Ebola in DR Congo still an international public health emergency

The 8 pieces of digital DNA we need to thrive in the AI age

EU Commission: a rise in wages and salaries may help create more jobs

ECB asks for more subsidies to banks

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

European Junior Enterprise Network – Ready to take the Step Into the Future?

Global Report on Food Crises reveals scope of food crises as COVID-19 poses new risks to vulnerable countries

Nairobi summit: Women’s empowerment a ‘game changer’ for sustainable development

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

Killings and violence targeting ethnic group in DR Congo ‘may amount to crimes against humanity’

Global leaders and companies pledge to reduce the gender pay gap by 2030

How to create a world where healthcare is a right, not a luxury

UN chief praises Malaysia’s death penalty repeal as ‘major step forward’

Environmental labelling, information and management schemes are central to the circular economy

South African women’s fury at gender-based attacks spills onto the streets

3 lessons from India in creating equal access to vaccines

A good night’s sleep ‘washes’ your brain, scientists say

Antisemitism, intolerance, can be unlearned, Guterres tells New York commemoration

In this ‘wildland’ farm in Britain, species thrive and yields are high

What do Europeans believe about the crisis and the possible way out?

This fascinating map shows how food moves around the US

Billions for sustainable investments – Germany’s plan for a green recovery

UN chief urges Hamas and Israel to ‘step back from the brink of another devastating conflict’ in Gaza

In New Zealand it takes less than a day to start a business

More Stings?

Advertising

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