THE AFRICA BAZAAR Staff Writer
December 14, 2015
Nearly 200 nations came together during the weekend to approve a historic climate change pact that will slow the pace of global greenhouse gas emissions, keep global temperature rise below 2 degrees celsius, and strengthens the ability to deal with the effects of climate change.
The landmark agreement, signed by 195 nations in Paris, brings all nations into a common cause to safeguard mother Earth for future generations and provides a non-binding universal framework for governments to work from on climate mitigation, climate ‘check and balance’ transparency system, climate adaptation and impact strengthening mechanisms and financial support.
Shortly after the climate agreement was announced Saturday, United States President Barack Obama, who has been a fierce proponent for lessening the impacts of climate change on the society as well as for getting developed-world leaders to the table to sign the climate accord, said the agreement “sends a powerful signal that the world is firmly committed to a low-carbon future.”
“The Paris agreement establishes the enduring framework the world needs to solve the climate crisis. It create the mechanism, the architecture, for us to continually tackle this problem in an effective way,” President Obama said.
The universal climate agreement aims to strengthen the ability to deal with the impacts of climate change to keep global temperature rise well below 2 degree Celsius and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.3 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
The 1.5 degree Celsius limit is a significant safer defense line against the worst impacts of a changing climate.
These actions were identified as crucial to slowing or reversing the effects of climate change as well as setting a long-term direction on which these objectives can be sustained and built upon to achieving the ambitious goals set forth in the agreement.
The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called the climate treaty “a resounding success for multilateralism.”
“We have entered a new era of global cooperation on one of the most complex issues ever to confront humanity. For the first time, every country in the world has pledged to curb emissions, strengthen resilience and join in common cause to take common climate action,” Secretary Ki-moon said.
The Paris Agreement, which also called for developed countries to scale-up climate financial support to $100 billion for developing nations to deal with climate effects and assist in building clean climate resilient futures, was reached against the backdrop of existing climate actions taken by several stakeholders, including businesses, cities, regions, civil society, which demonstrate a powerful unified front that was key to successful outcomes of COP 21.
Developing countries will also receive increased support for adaptation actions and the agreement’s transparency framework will provide clarity on countries’ mitigation and adaptation actions as well as provision support.
Speaking on the historic significance of the pact, French Foreign Minister and President of the COP 21 UN Climate Change conference Laurent Fabius said “the Paris Agreement allows each delegation and group of countries to go back home with their heads held high. Our collective effort is worth more than the sum of our individual effort. Our responsibility to history is immense.”
Countries are required to submit national climate action plans that detail their adaptation priorities, support needs and plans to address climate change. 188 countries and more than 150 businesses have contribute plans to the new agreement to cut their emissions.
An updated climate plans- called Nationally Determined Contributions (NDGs) will be required from every country every five year.
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