Revolution on climate change response

(VOVworld) – After 2 weeks of tense negotiations, a historic climate agreement was finally adopted on December 12 by 195 countries at COP21, the UN conference on climate change, in Paris. The agreement is considered a breakthrough in slowing down global warming.

Revolution on climate change response - ảnh 1

The agreement is a big step after many UN conferences on climate change failed to reach consensus on global warming, which is the main cause of rising sea water, droughts, floods, and storms.

The 31-page Paris agreement, 20 pages shorter than the draft, will replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol and will be effective in 2020. The agreement retains the main goals on commitments to control the rise of global temperature and the specific responsibilities of countries and groups of countries. Countries agreed to limit the rise of global temperature to less than 2 DC above pre-industrial levels toward setting the limit at 1.5 DC. This was the most important goal of COP21. Countries agreed to spend 100 billion USD a year for developing countries since 2020 to deal with climate change and the money will increase afterward. This agreement is to some extent legally binding as it offers a 5-year review mechanism since 2025 to bring the world closer to the 2 DC target. Unlike previous climate agreements, the Paris deal is more feasible because it was approved by all the 195 members of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

A number of countries and international organizations have hailed the adoption of the Paris agreement. UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said the agreement is a monumental triumph for planet Earth that will set the stage for achieving an end to poverty and development for all. French President Francois Hollande said there have been many revolutions over the centuries and this agreement is the most beautiful and the most peaceful revolution that has just been accomplished. US President Barack Obama said the Paris agreement  offers the best chance to save the one planet we have.

Under the agreement, the world will need to quickly reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the highest level. It says that by 2018 countries must submit their plans on greenhouse gas emissions so that the agreement can be effective in 2020. Every 5 years from 2020 each country will be required to review their set targets.

The Paris agreement says developed countries play a locomotive role in reducing greenhouse gases while developing countries are encouraged to reduce the use of fossil fuel and gradually lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Reaching a historic agreement on climate change is important but how to realize it is even more crucial. Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde has immediately called on countries to take actions to realize their commitments.

Efforts by the United Nations to persuade countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions over the last 20 years have finally paid off. Countries will have one year to consider ratifying the Paris agreement starting in April, 2016. The agreement will be effective in 2020 if it is ratified by at least 55 countries.