COP21: the final agreements

Jan 11, 2016 | written by:

COP21 has been much talked about and, if you follow our blog for a while, you've already read a few posts on this topic. But in the end, if someone asks you: "What do you think on the agreements that have been taken by the 196 countries?", would you be able to answer? So, trying to make things clear, here below the main decisions.

After two weeks of negotiations, during the last day there were still some outstanding issues and it was feared the worst, however, a little after 7 pm, the French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius, came back on stage. The last-minute compromises had been solved and suddenly everyone was standing to celebrate the gavel green, a symbol of the UN talks, which descended to enact the agreement. Like any agreement and negotiation is not perfect, but you can easily notice the difference with the previous agreement of 2009 in Copenhagen, collapsed into chaos and recriminations. Moreover, in those days there was the terrorist attack and Paris was frightened, ready to postpone the climate topic for solving other problems of internal security. Considering this, it was a success.

The key points of the agreement are to limit global warming between 1.5° C and 2° C and although there is no a clear road map in the text, written and rewritten during the two weeks, these temperatures will be reviewed in 2018 and imply to cut emissions by 40-70% compared to 2010 by 2050.

Another key point was decarbonisation, synthesized with "balance between anthropogenic emissions and removals of these by so-called biospheric sinks (such as oceans and forests) in the second half of century". As for the key node of differentiation, the different historical responsibility between developed and developing countries as defined by the Convention and a consequent different financial commitment, this is expected in some extent by the agreement, even if not as much as desired some of the actors. According to the text, "the developed countries should provide financial resources to assist countries in the developing world." The 100 billion a year from 2020, are a starting point and more funds must be allocated in an amount to be decided in 2025. The stakes were really high and without this decision, the threat would be catastrophic. Without urgent action, the heating had been expected to reach unprecedented levels, to five degrees above current temperatures - a level that would see vast areas of the globe uninhabitable.

Plant a tree For businesses