U.N. Releases First Draft of Climate Change Plan
On Monday the United Nations released a draft of the negotiating text for COP21/CMP11, a major conference on climate change currently taking place in Europe. The agreement they are striving to reach will affect 195 countries.
The 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21/CMP11), commonly known as “Paris 2015,” began on November 30th and is scheduled to end on December 11th.
The goal of the conference is to develop an international agreement aimed to keep global warming below two degrees Celsius. As the host, France has emerged as leader in the effort to combat global warming and will be responsible for ensuring that a mutual agreement is reached.
The release of the first draft marked the end of a session; the next will commence on October 19th and continue until the 23rd. There are lots of parenthesis in the first draft, meaning that those sections still have to undergo negotiation.
The text includes the long-term goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions across the globe, but does not provide details or deadlines. The central goal is to keep Earth’s rise is temperature below two degrees Celsius. Scientists advise that an increase of more two degrees could lead to strong hurricanes, widespread drought, and rampant wildfires.
Financing will be key, with poor countries hoping for some help from rich countries as they strive to cut carbon emissions while continuing to develop their economies. The document hints that financing could exceed the annual $100 billion already promised (this money will come from public as well as private sources).
According to the text, the success of the agreement relies heavily on each country’s willingness to make a report on their emissions every five years.
Environmental groups have been keeping an eye on the conference. And not all of them are pleased. Greenpeace, for example, argues for a more ambitious goal and a plan to transition to 100% renewable energy.