They have two eternal decades been necessary for the world to decide to unite against climate change: from the first climate summit in 1995, held in Berlin (COP1) to the Paris meeting (cop21), which has just ended with a historic pact.
Although breathed optimism, uncertainty has marked the nearly two weeks of intense negotiations to reach a binding global agreement.
A very ambitious agreement
Finally, after 13 days of sheer madness preceded by a year of diplomatic efforts of the French host, the 195 countries that participated in the Paris summit (cop21) have approved the agreement to limit global warming worldwide.
I have reached means, above all, to have reached a global consensus to adopt a development model that achieves a low carbon economy. Or, what is the same abandonment of growing systems based on fossil fuels.
Universal and binding agreement it a historic pact for humanity. All countries have adopted the text, but have yet to ratify it.
Establish a really ambitious goal is another major achievement. While fixed goal “keep the temperature increase below two degrees compared to pre-industrial levels” urges “pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees”.
That is, although the general framework are the two grades countries should strive to be not exceeding 1.5 degrees to increase control of extreme events. And, with that, “the most catastrophic impacts of climate change.”
To achieve this they have established national commitments to emissions cuts, although voluntary, a weak point of the agreement has been taken not to deter countries.
With clear intention to compensate, countries are obliged to report on their compliance. Yes, and chapter of sanctions has also been withheld.
Also, in order to reconcile with the voluntary compliance of objectives it is hoped the review of commitments. In particular, it has made it mandatory to renew their commitments to rise every five years.
Tears of emotion and applause
The plenary rose and erupted in emotional demonstrations when the president of the summit and French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius, said this afternoon, at 19:26 minutes, the expected sentence: “The Paris agreement has been accepted.”
His speech, applauded, ended with applause and hugs among the delegates from countries around the world. “We just made a big thing,” he said with glassy eyes.
The text closed at dawn and was approved this afternoon, getting the formal adoption of the 200 negotiators who had come to the summit.
A historic agreement, first, to be comprehensive and binding. Not surprisingly, it is the first time a commitment to include all countries through an agreement that is legally binding obligation is achieved.
In this double sense, the Paris Agreement will be a “quite radical” change in the fight against global warming. In addition, it will be “an enormous qualitative and quantitative leap with respect to Kyoto Protodolo” said Spanish minisra of Agriculture and Environment, Isabel García Tejerina.
The agreement also addresses the thorny issue of financing, an aspect that also marks a before and an after. The text speaks of money, noting 10,000 million a year for least developed countries to face the consequences of climate change.
Activists: happy and assertive
Throughout the day thousands of environmentalists staged numerous actions to demonstrate their desire for an “ambitious and fair” agreement.
Once reached, the statements have been mostly positive, noting as failures do not set mandatory cuts in emissions.
French President Francois Hollande, raised once approved the deal the possibility that countries that want to go further agreement and 2020 (the year in which enters into force) to cut further emissions and increase their financial commitments.
Activists also agree that it has reacted late, perhaps too. Among other claims, they miss specific commitments for different countries.
In triumphal key, in contrast, President Barack Obama said through the social networks that the Paris agreement was “huge,” and was signed mainly “thanks to American leadership.”
The next appointment: COP22
Hakima El haite, Minister of Environment and representative of Morocco, a country that will host the next summit (COP22) from 7 to 16 November 2016, announced his great enthusiasm to continue advancing along the path begun in Paris today.
If Hollande enthusiastically defined the agreement as the beginning of “an unstoppable and irreversible movement” that means entering “the era of low-carbon”, the Moroccan representative expressed satisfaction that this help does not lose momentum.
“We have now for the first time a comprehensive and transformative agreement that puts people and their planet at the center of the international agenda,” he said.
Anyway, we must not forget that the national climate targets are not sufficient to achieve the targets set in the agreement.
Adopted a global commitment to compromise is a huge accomplishment, no doubt, but as they say, actions speak louder … Today, however, it is time for celebration. A historic agreement was not daily lives, let alone ecological type. Let’s drink to that.