Towards the 2015 Paris Climate Accord.
By Johannes Bauer | 21 November, 2015
What we already can tell before the talks in Paris start
End of November many thousands of delegates and participants will arrive in Paris to discuss the future of the world. In the lead-up there has been growing activity in cyberspace and the momentum still grows. Organisation from around the world have already made their contributions and there is unprecedented pressure and expertise from research institutions, development agencies, civil society, the UN itself, World Bank, even IMF, on leaders to act. There are now also groups of countries, like SIDS (Small Island Developing States) which are in despair on what already happens to them. They have stopped mincing words: Blaming the developed world for a destroyed future. A lot of money has already been spent also. Every development agency and NGO has by now redesigned their climate change agenda. Norway alone has over the past 10 years given more than US$ 135 million to promote climate projects to the NGO sector alone. As a first, most countries have submitted their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) and we already have some tangible evidence on what we are willing to do (pay). We have also, a first, a comprehensive analysis by many institutions on what went wrong with the past COP (Conference of Parties) meetings of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). So, this year, in Paris we can, before the talks start, make a fair assessment if what we intend to do adds up. Well, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA) the answer, simply put, is no. The IEA report stated that “If stronger action is not forthcoming after 2030, the path in the INDC Scenario would be consistent with an average temperature increase of around 2.6 °C by 2100 and 3.5 °C after 2200”. So what we INTEND to do is still not quite good enough. Even if the INTENTIONS were followed up- and we know all about such. But on the other hand we at least have some idea where the world now stands, we have a foundation of consensus and we can work towards improving it. Obama and the Pope have joined the action even.
A seismic shift in our willingness to act
As science keeps coming in, new organisations develop and fine-tune their message, Obama and the Pope weigh in, and action, even consensus grows, for example a near universal condemnation of the coal industry and the fossil fuel sector. I would suggest that a seismic shift has happened this year which will lead to … continue reading
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