Climate change summit reaches historic deal in Paris that will limit global temperature rise to below 2°C
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
The twenty-first session of the Conference of Parties in Paris aimed to fight climate change concluded on 11th December 2015. 193 member countries of the United Nations’ Framework Convention on Climate Change convened to reach a universal, legally binding agreement to reduce carbon emissions.
Commenting on the outcome, Ivano Ianelli, CEO – Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence said “I praise the efforts of the government of France towards achieving consensus among 190 countries. The Paris agreement shapes the livability of our planet for the next decades and centuries, reinforcing national actions to fight climate change.”
The agreement includes a strong long-term goal to reduce carbon emissions, limiting the global temperature rise to below 2°C. Scientists claim that while 2°C is required to avoid the most devastating effects of climate change it will not be enough to save many of the world’s most vulnerable countries, which are aggressively pushing for the 1.5°C target to be included in the agreement.
The agreement places a legal obligation on developed countries to provide climate finance to developing countries to support their efforts to fight climate change. The deal describes the sum as a “floor” and is set at $100 billion a year, beginning in 2020.
The agreement also states that participant countries are required to assess their efforts to reduce carbon emissions every five years and expand upon those efforts as they are capable.
“A regular assessment will allow countries to acknowledge their current efforts, and make them ambitious to achieve the set target. In 2018, there will be a facilitative dialogue to take stock of collective efforts of countries, which should inform the efforts of future commitments. Countries which have submitted targets for 2025 are urged to come back in 2020 with a new target, while those with 2030 targets are invited to “communicate or update” them,” said Ivano Ianelli.
The responsibilities of developed countries vary from those of their developing counterparts, throughout the agreement. “The differentiation between developed and developing countries was a key demand of large developing countries like India and China that worried the agreement might require them to take actions that would slow their economic growth.”
A key goal of the Paris agreement is to ensure a transparent system that will ensure countries meet their promise to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This comes just as the Dubai Executive Council endorses Dubai’s first Carbon Abatement Strategy 2021.
Ivano Ianelli added “The agreement will set out “flexible” rules on reporting for “those developing country Parties that need it in the light of their capacities”. However, all countries are bound to report regularly on their emissions and efforts to reduce them. A “facilitative, non-intrusive, non-punitive” system of review will track countries’ progress.”
For its part, the United Arab Emirates’ Intended Nationally Determined Contribution aims at limiting emissions and increasing the share of clean energy in the energy mix to 24% by 2021, up from 0.2% in 2014. To meet the challenge and address climate change while supporting the economy, the UAE will turn to innovation and technological breakthroughs as drivers of a green economy.