- A total of 196 countries are expected to sign a new agreement on climate that will determine the fate of the world in the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP 21, which will be held between Nov. 30 and Dec. 11 in Le Bourget, a commune in the northeast suburbs of Paris.
Daily Hürriyet has reviewed nine critical points about the conference, focusing on its objective and significance both for the world and our daily lives.
1. Who are the participants?
More than 80 heads of state confirmed their attendance, including U.S. President Barack Obama, Chinese President Xi Jinping, U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Leaders will strive to prevent a failure in terms of climate change, like the U.N.'s previous climate summit in 2009 at Copenhagen, which was criticized for its disorganization and weak political statement. The conference will also host an estimated 40,000 people and tens of thousands of climate activists from around the world with alternative summits and events.
2. What is the objective of the conference?
According to a 2014 report by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the total amount of greenhouse gas emission must be stay within 2,900 gigatons during the period of 1870 to now, in order to keep global temperature average increase below 2 centigrade degrees as the world has consumed two thirds of the carbon budget as of 2011.
An annual $100 billion investment is needed for low carbon electricity and energy efficiency by 2030 to stay below 2 degrees Celsius.
The most critical point for the COP 21 will be reaching an international agreement that will secure the 2 degrees Celsius limit and determine the years after 2020.
3. Will an agreement be signed?
An agreement is expected to limit global temperature increase at 2 degrees Celsius. The main topics will be a global reduction target, an adjustment plan for unavoidable climate effects, climate financing and technology transfer. The G-20, along with China and OECD-member-industrialized countries, and China will face tough negotiations. French President François Hollande has also put all his political weight into an agreement that envisages an intense political pressure for an agreement.
4. What is requested?
For an agreement in line with the IPCC's scientific facts, global greenhouse gas emissions must reach zero after 2050. That means decarburization of electricity production, “earthing” up huge amounts of fossil fuel and financing for adapting climate change effects and forming an international cooperation for a low carbon development route. A possible Paris deal should also address the priorities of the most fragile segments and have fair, equal, realist and measurable results.
5. Which country promised what?
Countries presented Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) to the United Nations. Some 155 sides that produce 86.6 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions made contributions.
EU: a 40 percent reduction as of 2030 compared to 1990.
US: a 28 percent reduction as of 2025 compared to 2005.
China: a net reduced greenhouse gas emission as of 2030.
India: reduce carbon density 35 percent as of 2030 compared to 2005
Mexico and South Korea: a 25 percent and 37 percent reduction respectively
6. Does Turkey have any promises?
Until recently, Turkey has followed a timid path in climate change. According to the reference scenario, Turkey promised to reduce greenhouse gas emission by 21 percent as of 2030. Turkey has also the opportunity to be a pioneer in climate change fight if it gives up its timidity.
7. What are the possible results?
Four points are expected in the conference:
- A global binding agreement which will quickly be implemented and include all countries
- Reducing and controlling greenhouse gas emission, revieing national promises of reduction objectives, as well as global promises
- Creating opportunities for financial sources and technology transfer in the fight against climate change, especially in terms of financing the most fragile countries who suffer from climate change
- Increasing determination in reduction by reviewing promises every five years
8. Which sectors are affected by the results?
Climate change effects all sectors primarily energy and heavy industry as well as tourism and agriculture.
9. Will it affect our daily lives?
Climate change is already affecting our daily lives with its dimensions in public health, urbanization, access to fresh water and food security.