Published On: Sat, Dec 12th, 2015

Landmark Climate-Change Agreement Hailed as Leap for Mankind

A “historic” climate-change deal has been unveiled in Paris; Nations pledge to limit warming to below 2 degrees Celsius ; Deal sets framework for global warming action for decades

climate change

In past two weeks in Paris, negotiators from nearly 200 countries signed on to a deal on Saturday evening that set ambitious goals to limit temperature rise and to hold governments to account for reaching those targets.

The new deal also sets out goals on:
Temperature — Calling for temperature increases since the industrial revolution to be limited to 2 degrees Celsius and for the first time challenging nations to work toward a more aggressive target of 1.5 degrees.
Fossil Fuels — Says nations should work toward “a balance between anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases in the second half of this century.” That means that greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels must be equal to those absorbed by planting trees and the facilities capturing carbon for permanent underground storage.
Transparency — Seeks a single system for measuring the emissions of every nation, and for monitoring progress toward their voluntary targets. Every five years, starting in 2018, there would be a global assessment of whether combined efforts are sufficient. From 2020, countries must update old pledges or prepare new ones every five years.
Loss and Damage — A key provision sought by island nations who say that changes are already occurring that they can’t adapt to. The new deal sets up a mechanism to provide expert advice, emergency preparedness and insurance. A clause in the decision text says that mechanism will not provide for liability and compensation, paying heed to a red line by the U.S., Japan and European nations.
Finance — Developed countries pledged in 2009 to ramp up climate aid to vulnerable ones to an annual $100 billion by 2020. The draft agreement says that from 2020, “climate finance should represent a progression beyond previous efforts, ” without mentioning a numerical target. A separate so-called decision document says industrialized nations should continue the existing goal through to 2025, when they would set a new collective goal.

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