196 Countries Approve Historic Climate Agreement

We are always in the presence of leaders in international climate discussions. World heads of state and government are concluding important details on the Paris Agreement, including how countries will report on progress towards their climate goals and launching a process to launch a new round of targets by 2020. “The world finally has a climate change cooperation framework that is appropriate for this task,” said Michael Levi, an expert on energy and climate policy at the Council on Foreign Relations. “But the question of whether this will become a real turning point for the world depends on the seriousness of the situation of the countries.” “In terms of leadership, it`s going to make a huge difference,” said Cornell University climatologist Natalie Mahowald. The French European partners recalled the coordinated terrorist attacks of 13 November in Paris, which killed 130 people and threatened to follow the negotiations. But bound by collective goodwill towards France, countries have redoubled their efforts. Shortly before 2020, Trump called the Paris climate accord a “total disaster from our point of view” in his first presidential debate with Democratic candidate Joe Biden, while his rival promised that he would correct that mistake and join the deal if elected. “If Biden wins, the world will reorient itself to strengthen his actions,” climate scientist Jonathan Overpeck, dean of the environmental program at the University of Michigan, told AP news agency. In other words, the trends are already moving in the direction that the agreement itself intends to promote. According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), temperatures are expected to rise by 3.2oC by the end of the 21st century, based solely on the current climate commitments of the Paris Agreement. To limit the increase in global temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius, annual emissions must be below 25 Gigaton (Gt) by 2030. With the current commitments of November 2019, emissions by 2030 will be 56 Gt CO2e, twice the environmental target. To limit the increase in global temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius, an annual reduction in emissions of 7.6% is needed between 2020 and 2030.

The four main emitters (China, the United States, the EU-27 and India) have contributed more than 55% of total emissions over the past decade, excluding emissions due to land use changes such as deforestation.