December 11 was the last day of the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference. After almost two weeks of debates, the 21st yearly session of the United Nations Climate Change conferences (also named Conference of the Parties, hence the name COP21) which was held in Paris, France, reached an agreement.
The objective for the delegates of the 196 participating countries was to reach a global and binding agreement on climate change. And for the very first time in the climate conferences history, the Paris agreement reached a consensus. Its main point is to maintain the increase of the global average temperature below 2°C by 2100 and to do the best to limit it to 1.5°C.
But if the intention is commendable, some critics have been brought up – and they are considered. First of all, if most of the participants agreed on this, the accord has not been signed yet. This is expected for April 2016: let’s hope that the countries will keep their word. Along the same lines, the agreement will only be considered as legally effective if 55 UNFCCC Parties, accounting for 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions, sign.
Also, the convention does not set any intermediate deadlines or quantified goals for each country. These decisions are let to the countries themselves.
Despite these few drawbacks, the Paris agreement is on the right track and the countries seem to be involved. Let’s hope for the best.
Written by Laurie Jacot