Thursday, December 17, 2015

Victoria's Green Matters - 17th December 2015

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

It has been called ‘a major leap for mankind’ by French President, François Hollande, and, for those of us who have been campaigning against climate change for many years, it has given us a long awaited cause for celebration.

It has taken more than 20 years of very difficult negotiation to come up with an agreement from 195 countries present at the COP21 talks in Paris to hold global temperatures to a maximum rise of 1.5°C, thereby avoiding the worst effects of catastrophic global warming.

The participants have agreed to reduce carbon emissions and to accept a new goal of zero emissions by later this century. Alongside this has been the promise to raise $100 billion a year by 2020 to help poor countries achieve these goals.

The elation is tempered by caution. Many scientists believe that the 1.5°C target may be over ambitious as human induced warming is already approaching 1°C and is set to reach 1.2°C by 2030 so keeping the temperature down to 1.5°C will be a huge challenge; 2°C is more achievable.

Although this agreement has been welcomed by everyone it has been criticised for not going far enough. However, there is a commitment to ratchet up pledges and make stronger cuts in five years which could bring us to the magic 2°C by the end of the century.

Promises have to be carried out and it is feared that resistance from the huge and powerful fossil fuels industry will present the largest challenge.

Victoria Nicholls. Transition Deal.

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