COP22: Turning words into action

(VOVworld)-Leaders from 200 countries around the world are gathering in the Moroccan city of Marrakech for a crucial meeting to define action plans and reiterate commitments  to fight global warming. The 22nd UN Climate Change Conference (COP22) seeks consensus on ways to turn the historic Paris Agreement into reality.

Delegates are discussing a number of controversial issues, from renewable energies to green house gas emission quotas with the ultimate goal of actualizing the Paris Agreement on climate change. The pact, adopted by 171 countries and organizations at COP21 in Paris last December, provides the global legal framework for responding to climate change to achieve a low-carbon and sustainable economy.

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Paris Agreement: global legal basis for combating climate change

The  Paris Agreement came into force last Friday following the ratification of more than 100 countries, who produce 68% of global green house gas emissions. The most ambitious climate change agreement ever negotiated deals with all aspects of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and bridges the difference in the responsibilities of developed and developing nations in addressing climate change.     

The key points of the Paris Agreement include preventing global temperatures from rising more than 2°C by 2100 with an ideal target of keeping temperature rise below 1.5°C. The Agreement sets the limit on the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by human activity to the level that trees, soil and oceans can absorb naturally. Every five years, nations are required to assess their progress towards meeting their climate commitments and submit new plans to strengthen them. Developed countries are asked to contribute 100 billion USD annually to developing countries beginning in 2020.

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COP22 Chairman Salaheddine Mezouar

Ratification of the Paris Agreement by the US and China, the biggest green house gas emitters in the world has created the momentum for other countries to follow suit. This is the first time the representatives of developed and developing countries have pledged to keep the increase in global temperatures below 2°C.

Turning commitments into reality

How far parties will honor their commitments remains the biggest question about the Paris Agreement. Experts believe that the key to success is in the hands of the biggest green house gas emitters. To avoid the fate of the Kyoto Protocol, which  only ever existed in theory, COP22 will push parties to act comprehensively on the Agreement, focusing on building the necessary procedures and guidelines for implementation. The meeting will also clarify developing nations’ contributions to the Agreement.

The fight against climate change will fail without the consensus, combined effort and determination of all countries. The Paris Agreement provided all the necessary tools. Now countries around the world, regardless of their political, socio-economic or geographical conditions, should unite to win this battle.