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

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

Do academia and banks favour a new Middle Ages period?

What the world will look like after the Iran and 5+1 deal; the US emerges as major power broker in Middle East

Impressive African health gains at risk from changing trends: WHO report

Τhe EU Refugee Crisis: a day in the life of a Refugee in Greece

Lithuania should find its own way in the EU

ECB embarks on the risky trip to Eurozone banking universe

Senior UN children’s advocate says they ‘should never be targeted by violence’

RescEU: MEPs vote to upgrade EU civil protection capacity

‘Habitual residence’ rules deprive EU workers from social benefits

Is this the way to finally beat corruption?

Three ways the Fourth Industrial Revolution is shaping geopolitics

Why the World Cup is a bit like international trade

Security Council downsizes AU-UN mission in Darfur, eying eventual exit

iSting: a reader’s thoughts on the UN Environment Assembly 2017

UN says ‘many humanitarian achievements’, one year after ouster of ISIL from Mosul

Scotland and First Minister Salmond enter the most challenging battlefield for independence: Europe

One in three fish caught never gets eaten

Europe turns out more jobs this summer

5 charts that explain big challenges facing Italy’s new government

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

Technological innovation can bolster trust and security at international borders. Here’s how

What options the new President of Ukraine has?

Will Western Balkans respond positively to EU initiatives?

A Sting Exclusive: “Delivering on the Environmental Dimension of the new Sustainable Development Agenda”, Ulf Björnholm underscores from UNEP Brussels

Chart of the day: This is what violence does to a nation’s GDP

Can the Americans alone determine the future of Syria?

Brexit Update: EU endorses unprecedented compromise to help Cameron out of the referendum mess he got himself into

Russia and the West to partition Ukraine?

Bram in Colombia

Commission’s Youth Initiative fails first hurdle by not sufficiently consulting young people

Five years down the drain

The Brussels bureaucracy blocks the Youth Guarantee scheme

“Fortress Europe”, “Pegida” and its laughing stocks

Unlock the value proposition for Connected Insurance

The Brits are not an exception and that’s why they voted to leave

Crimean crisis: not enough to slow down European indices

My Mothers

Germany readies to pay for the Brexit gap in EU finance

EU Commission announces Safe Harbour 2.0 and a wider Data protection reform

Fostering global citizenship in medicine

Yanis Varoufakis: “Unsustainable debt turns the creditor into Leviathan; Life under it is becoming nasty, brutish and short”

Germany to help China in trade disputes with Brussels

Here’s how data could make our cities safer

Bugged Europe accepts US demands and blocks Morales plane

The banks first to benefit from the new euro trillion ECB plans to print

Zuckerberg preaches that Artificial Intelligence will protect Data Privacy in Facebook whereas Verhofstadt demands the big European state to take charge

A Sting Exclusive: “Youth voice must be heard in climate change negotiations!”, Bérénice Jond Board Member of European Youth Forum demands from Brussels

‘Laser-sharp focus’ needed to achieve Global Goals by 2030, UN political forum told

A few, or rather two, trade and economic alliances may rule our brave new world

Alexandre in Czech Republic

These countries are all building brand-new cities

EU accused of being too nice with Gazprom in the infamous antitrust case

Parliament: Last compromise on bank single resolution mechanism

Lack of investment and ambition means Youth Guarantee not reaching potential

Top UN political official updates Security Council on Iran nuclear deal

Debunked: 5 myths about the future of work

European Business Summit 2014: The role of youth entrepreneurship education in EU’s Strategy for Competitiveness

A day in the life of a Rohingya refugee

EU opens a third antitrust file against Google

EU budget: Will Germany alone manage Britain’s gap?

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