More than 81 countries representing 60% of global emissions have ratified the Paris Agreement, which took force last Friday, a record time for an international treaty. In comparison, the Kyoto Protocol took eight years to take effect. At the COP21 summit in Paris, developed and developing countries alike embraced a vision to limit global temperature rise to well below 2°C and aim to keep it to 1.5°C driving to a zero carbon economy by 2050.
However, scientist believe that commitments made so far to curb greenhouse gas emissions are too weak to win the climate battle. Too much money still flows into high carbon investment. Yet, an analysis released last week by the United Nations Environment Program found that the world is on course to warm by 2.9 degrees Celsius to 3.4 degrees Celsius this century.
Less than a year after, on Monday the 22nd, the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, known by the shorthand COP 22, begins in Marrakech. World leaders and climate negotiators will spend 12 tough days attempting to thrash out a concrete and feasible roadmap for the implementation of the pledges made by 197 countries in terms of measures and mechanisms for reducing greenhouse gas emission
In order to develop adaptation and mitigation strategies that work, main implementation issues need to be discussed in Marrakech. Under the rules of the Paris Agreement, countries are required to submit their own priorities and ambitions to address the climate change, through ‘nationally determined contributions’. It will have to be clarified how to measure, report and verify emissions. This is because countries use a wide variety of methods to calculate their emissions reduction targets. For example, the EU has a “national determined contribution” of cutting emissions by 40% by 2030 on 1990 levels.
Finance is expected to be at the very heart of the successful implementation of the Paris Agreement. As the world's most vulnerable are those most affected by climate change, donor governments are committed to provide $100 billion per year by 2020 to help poorer countries to deal with the effects of climate change. However, to date, public funding provided exclusively for adaptation has barely reached $10 billion a year.
What is clear, is that climate change is no longer an issue of political belief or ideolog. “Marrakech Summit is the crucial next step for governments looking to operationalize the Paris Climate Change Agreement adopted last year,” said UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa”, during a press conference. There are health, financial and economic decisions to be made, requiring structural change to move away from fossil fuels for energy.
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