His­toric cli­mate pact kicks in

The Myanmar Times - - World -

A WORLD­WIDE pact to bat­tle global warm­ing en­tered into force on Novem­ber 4, just a week be­fore na­tions re­assem­ble to dis­cuss how to make good on their prom­ises to cut planet-warm­ing green­house gases.

Dubbed the Paris Agree­ment, it is the first-ever deal bind­ing all the world’s na­tions, rich and poor, to a com­mit­ment to cap global warm­ing caused mainly by the burn­ing of coal, oil and gas.

“Hu­man­ity will look back on Novem­ber 4, 2016, as the day that coun­tries of the world shut the door on in­evitable cli­mate disas­ter,” UN cli­mate chief Pa­tri­cia Espinosa and Moroc­can For­eign Min­is­ter Sala­hed­dine Me­zouar said.

“It is also a mo­ment to look ahead with sober as­sess­ment and re­newed will over the task ahead,” added Mr Me­zouar who will pre­side over the UN meet­ing open­ing in Mar­rakesh to­day.

This meant dras­ti­cally and ur­gently cut­ting emis­sions, which re­quires po­lit­i­cal com­mit­ment and con­sid­er­able fi­nan­cial in­vest­ment.

The ur­gency was brought home by a UN re­port which warned that emis­sions trends were steer­ing the world to­ward cli­mate “tragedy”.

By 2030, said the UN En­vi­ron­ment Pro­gram, an­nual emis­sions will be 12 to 14 bil­lion tonnes of car­bon diox­ide equiv­a­lent (CO2e) higher than the de­sired level of 42 bil­lion tonnes.

The 2014 level was about 52.7 bil­lion tonnes. This year is on track to be the hottest on record, and car­bon diox­ide lev­els passed an omi­nous mile­stone in 2015.

The agree­ment was en­dorsed in the French cap­i­tal last De­cem­ber, af­ter years of com­plex and di­vi­sive ne­go­ti­a­tions, but the rat­i­fi­ca­tion was reached with record speed.

At least 55 par­ties to the UN’s cli­mate con­ven­tion (UNFCCC), re­spon­si­ble for at least 55 per­cent of global green­house gas emis­sions, had to rat­ify it for it to take ef­fect.

It has been rat­i­fied by 97 of the 197 UNFCCC par­ties, rep­re­sent­ing 67.5pc of emis­sions, ac­cord­ing to France’s En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Se­go­lene Royal, out­go­ing pres­i­dent of the UN talks. –

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