While analysts are working to digest the full implications of the agreement, a few points stand out. The incredible success we saw in Paris was only possible because ordinary people stood up and spoke up in unprecedented numbers all around the world..
1. It was a success with big question marks
Negotiators from 195 countries with very different agendas and interests were involved, trying to halt climate change and possibly find ways of reversing. We all know energy production is the major cause of “Global warming” that leads to climate change and we all knew a perfect agreement that ushered in a 100 % clean energy economy on Jan. 1 2016 was never a possibility. What we needed was an agreement that sends a signal, and makes a point that the future of energy is in renewable like wind hydro and solar energy.
The Paris agreement did that test. But in many ways did not go far enough, the commitments made are unlikely to keep us below the 2 degree Celsius temperature rise agreed upon, and the 2 degrees are most certainly not enough to keep climate change at bay. It is still too high to avoid serious climate impacts and many countries fought for a lower goal. There is real work still to be done ahead to save this planet we call home.
The important thing is that we have an agreement. And it made it clear that there’s a lot of money to be made in the clean energy sector? If you’re an investor, you’re going to take note.
2. The Agreement Wasn’t the Only Game in Town
An agreement with the scope and reach of the one reached at COP21 is critical if we’re going to get emissions down quickly enough to get close to the 1.5 or even 2 degree target. While national-level action is essential, it’s also not enough on its own.
This makes the initiatives announced in Paris to give cities, companies and private citizens a bigger role in speeding up the transition to a clean energy economy very exciting. For starters, there was the announcement that nearly 400 cities have signed up to the Compact of Mayors coalition to measure and reduce emissions. When you consider these cities could together avoid 740 million tons of emissions annually in 2030, that’s a major step forward.
20 countries including the U.S.A and most industrialized countries pledged to double their investment in clean energy research and development. Already, we’ve seen the price of solar,
3. Reviews to keep the Process Going Forward
We knew this agreement wouldn’t be perfect and it’s not. Divisions remain on the concept of differentiation, i.e. which countries should take more action on mitigation and financing resiliency and action in developing and less-developed countries. But negotiators have carved out a workable solution for the time being. Governments have a great deal of work to do over the next few years to ensure that this agreement is implemented in a truly equitable manner. Most industrialized countries refuse to take the blame for the damage already Made to the climate by their industrialization, even though there can be no argument who is at fault.
It’s one thing to set a common goal. It’s another to make sure everyone works together to get there. Let’s see if commitments made are meet.
(By: Valentine Martin | December 24, 2015)