Thursday, December 10, 2015

Victoria's Green Matters - 10th Dec 2015

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:

Well, the long awaited and much heralded UN Paris climate talks are here at last. This is the 21st conference of the parties on climate change or COP 21. This summit is about reaching a global agreement on limiting climate change by cutting carbon emissions beyond 2020 and making finance available to help poorer countries cope with the changes to come.

There are representatives of 195 countries in Paris and many world leaders, including Barak Obama, Xi Jinping of China, Narendra Modi of India and David Cameron attended at the beginning of the conference and made speeches encouraging negotiators to reach agreement. It is now down to those negotiators to thrash out a deal which all can endorse, a mighty undertaking.

Pledges have already been submitted by more than 170 countries which represent 97% of the world’s carbon emissions but these fall short of the 2°C limit to global temperatures agreed by world leaders. The pledges would mean a rise of 2.7 – 3.3°C, enough to cause catastrophic climate changes but still infinitely better than no agreement at all which would result in an increase of at least 5°C.

The task seems momentous. Not only have agreements to be made but a process put in place to monitor these systems and review them so that targets can be increased in line with limiting warming to 2°C.

It is vital that agreements are reached over the next week. There is no planet B and we cannot continue to destroy the only planet we have.

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