Monday, December 14, 2015

Big Relief as COP21 Delivers

On Saturday, the main emotion in Paris, France was one of big relief. The 21st UNFCCC (UN Framework Convention on Climate Change) Conference of Parties (COP 21) produced a landmark accord that represents a historic breakthrough on an issue that has foiled decades of international efforts to address climate change.
Representatives of 195 nations must be congratulated for having reached a landmark accord – after tense negotiations over an intense two weeks – that will, for the first time, commit nearly every country to lowering planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions to help stave off the most drastic effects of climate change.
Traditionally, developed economies were expected to take action to lower greenhouse gas emissions, but developing countries like China and India were exempted from such obligations.
The COP21 accord changes that dynamic by requiring action in some form from every country, rich or poor. In other words, the deal unites all the world's nations in a single agreement on tackling climate change for the first time in history.
The latest negotiations managed to avoid such an impasse by developing a system of Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs). In these, which form the basis of the Paris agreement goal of keeping global temperature rise "well below" 2C (3.6F) and to pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5C, nations outline their plans on cutting their post-2020 emissions.
And this is accompanied by a mechanism to review mitigation ambition every five years.
Plus $100 billion a year in climate finance in which rich countries help developing countries to adapt to climate change and switch to renewable energy.
Admittedly, it is not a perfect plan. It has almost nothing binding to ensure a safe and liveable climate for future generations. Still, the world has a framework for cooperating on climate change – and whether or not this becomes a true turning point for the world, though, depends critically on how seriously countries follow through.
The money, of course, is helpful but I read somewhere that it “remains under 8% of worldwide declared military spending each year" – so much more money can be raised and given to vulnerable countries .
The Paris climate talks will not, on its own, solve global warming. At best, scientists who have analyzed it say, it will cut global greenhouse gas emissions by about half enough as is necessary to stave off an increase in atmospheric temperatures of 2 degrees Celsius.
That is the point at which, Science has concluded, the world will be locked into a future of devastating consequences, including rising sea levels, severe droughts and flooding, widespread food and water shortages and more destructive storms.
The Paris agreement alone won't dig us out the hole we're in, but it is a genuine beginning to save this planet!
Celtic extended their lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership to four points with a 3-0 victory against St Johnstone on Saturday. Nadir Ciftci (35) and Dedryck Boyata (49) scored from close range to put their side into a commanding lead. And the Turkish striker headed his second in the sixty-seventh minute to secure a seventh win in eight league matches for the champions.
The Liverpool-West Brom match, also on the same day, saw the Reds dominating the game (they had 70% of the ball) and had led through Jordan Henderson's twenty-first minute strike, but their inability to defend set-pieces surfaced once more as both of the Baggies’ central defenders got on the scoresheet following corner kicks, i.e. Craig Dawson (30) and Jonas Olsson (73). Only when substitute Divock Origi's deflected strike deep into stoppage time rescued a point for Liverpool and they earned a 2-2 draw against the resolute West Brom side.
That point earned means Liverpool are ninth in the EPL table, five points off the top four.

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