We’re In A Better Place To Fight Climate Change, But COP21 Is Just The Beginning

On the first day of this Paris climate change conference (COP21), keep in mind that these are the heads of state who, in Copenhagen in 2009, declared that they should bring about a global agreement on climate change that would limit global warming to below 2C, and even 1.5C. Here they are, meeting their responsibilities!

These two degrees are the main concern of the COP21. It is a serious challenge because scientists, and namely the IPCC, have shown that beyond this threshold, our planet will enter a downward spiral of imbalance, on several levels. Many things are therefore to be negotiated –especially this 2C objective– to ensure avoiding this point of no-return for the planet and humanity. Countries should commit to this to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

More than 170 national contributions and commitments for 2025 or 2030 have been submitted by countries. This is a first that must be underscored; it speaks to an unprecedented mobilization on the part of most countries. These efforts, which would still lead the world towards global warming of around 3C by the end of the century, nonetheless convey the progress in ambition since the 2009 Copenhagen Summit.

“The next five years will be very important, and the longer we wait to put measures into effect, the harder it will become to minimize climate change.”

The second key issue which will require vigilance is that of development aid. In Copenhagen, the heads of state of rich countries said that they would commit to getting an $100 billion in aid per year by 2020. (This should be possible, since we know that every year, the fossil fuel sector receives approximately $500 billion in subsidies.) Now, it remains to be seen how this —> Read More