The Paris Climate Agreement & recent news

Below is a short video summarizing the 2015 Paris Climate Conference Agreement (also known as COP21 – ‘Conference of Parties 21’), which was approved almost a year ago. This is the first global climate deal since the Kyoto Protocol, and aims to limit global average temperature changes to within 2°C climate change, and to combat the unavoidable impacts on people and the Earth. It follows on from Kyoto Protocol and its Doha Amendament, (which ends in 2020) that suffered from limited overall participation.

The Paris Agreement was ratified on 4th October this year by the EU, thereby reaching the threshold of countries needed to come into force. It officially came into force on 4th November. The agreement will encompasses continued reduction of emissions (relative to 1990 levels), increased investment and transitioning to renewable energy technology, increased energy efficiency and ensuring energy security.

Despite concerns of the US support for the Paris Agreement, the EU announced it is driving ahead and announced this week it will reveal plans to eliminate subsidies on power generation by coal, gas and peat, according to a report yesterday in the Financial Times. A recent article in the Huffington Post, explored the options the Trump Presidency has in withdrawing from the Paris commitments, and also what diplomatic and legal risks may be involved for the US on doing so. The article ends on an optimistic note “no matter the reluctance of Trump’s administration to take further action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the civil society is already moving forward”

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