6: What’s happening in Paris?
If we already know how big the emissions cuts will be, then what will the countries negotiate in Paris?
- It is not decided in advance what will happen to crucial issues such as climate adaptation, financing , and loss and damage .
- It has also not been decided what will happen to emissions cuts in the longer term.
Since the countries themselves could choose what kind of promises they submitted before the meeting in Paris, they have submitted promises in all colors, shapes and scope. An important job is therefore to ensure that this is understandable , comparable and verifiable by creating systems for measuring, reporting and verifying emissions and emission reductions.
As mentioned, the emission cuts that have been put on the table are not ambitious enough. It is therefore crucial to put in place a system that ensures that the cuts over time become more ambitious. At the moment, it seems likely that the countries can agree to update the promises every five years , and it may be a requirement that new promises must always be more ambitious than old promises.
There are two pillars in the climate negotiations:
- emission cuts
- climate adaptation.
An important question in Paris will be whether the countries are able to agree on a global goal of adaptation.
7: Climate action will cost
It will cost a lot to cut emissions and adapt to climate change. The poor countries do not have the opportunity to bear this entire burden themselves, and therefore the financing of climate measures will be one of the most important – and most difficult – issues. The rich countries have promised to raise $ 100 billion a year for climate measures in poor countries by 2020. Two of the questions to be decided in Paris are whether this amount will be increased in the future, and whether it is still only the rich countries that will contribute to the financing.
Even if we do what we can to adapt to climate change, there will still be losses and damage. If sea levels rise, the population in countries such as the Maldives (low island state) must move. What help can they expect from the international community?
According to RELATIONSHIPSPLUS.COM, the poor countries obviously need help to deal with the consequences of climate change. At the same time, many of the rich countries, especially the United States, are afraid that including “losses and damage” in the climate agreement may open up for claims for financial compensation from those who caused the damage (in that they have a historical responsibility through their emissions over many years ). It is therefore likely that this will be one of the most controversial issues in Paris.
It is quite likely that the countries will not have time to agree on all important issues in Paris, and therefore postpone some decisions to the meetings that will come in the years after Paris.
8: How much does a deal in Paris mean?
After 25 years of rather meager results, many are skeptical about what the global climate negotiations can contribute. The agreement in Paris will most likely not be good enough to limit global warming to two degrees, or to provide developing countries with sufficient resources to adapt to future climate change. It is therefore important to keep in mind two things to see the big picture:
- The most important thing is not necessarily what is written on paper in Paris in December, but what actions this process triggers. For example, the United States and China now have more ambitious climate goals than they had a year ago, and they have decided to introduce new measures and instruments that can help achieve these goals.
- A lot of important international climate cooperation also takes place outside the major Recently, for example, the parties to the Montreal Protocol, which will stop the depletion of the ozone layer, also decided to cut emissions of powerful greenhouse gases that replace the ozone-depleting gases. We are actively working on climate measures in cities and companies. The jungle of various agreements and initiatives that are emerging is very far from the most efficient or rational one could imagine, and they are currently not enough to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.
At the same time, it is important to take with you the good news that has come over the past year, and to remember that this is not about whether we reach a certain goal or not: the more serious climate change is likely to be, the more important any measure is. which cuts emissions.
9: Stay tuned
During two hectic weeks in Paris , the countries of the world will try to agree on issues they have been arguing about for two decades. Will emerging economies such as China, Brazil and South Africa have to take a greater share of responsibility for financing climate measures than they have done so far? Will the United States and other rich countries have to agree to provide support to countries affected by climate change ? Will China have to accept that others look at them in the cards when they say they have reached their climate goals?