Nearly 200 countries reached the Glasgow Climate Agreement yesterday after two weeks of intensive negotiations with Britain, which is in talks, announcing that the agreement will keep alive international hope of avoiding the ill effects of global warming.
The key achievements of the agreement are as follows:
The agreement recognizes that the pledges made so far by countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions caused by global warming are not close enough to prevent planetary temperatures from rising by more than 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial temperatures.
In an effort to address this issue, the agreement calls for increasing those targets by the end of next year, instead of every five years.
Failure to set and meet targets to reduce severe emissions can have dire consequences. Scientists say temperatures above 1.5 degrees Celsius could lead to significant rises in sea levels, and that disasters, including severe droughts, severe storms and wildfires, are far worse than the world is already experiencing.
“Today we have a distance of 1.5 degrees Celsius, but I can honestly say that its pulse is weak, but we will only survive if we keep our promises,” said Ulak Sharma, chairman of the UN Climate Summit.
Targeting fossil fuels
The agreement includes for the first time moves aimed at reducing energy dependence on coal and withdrawing fossil fuel subsidies, which scientists say are the primary drivers of man-made climate change.
Those words are controversial.
Prior to the adoption of the Glasgow Accord, India demanded that countries be called in “gradually” instead of relentlessly “phasing out” coal. This small word change caused great concern in the whole assembly, but the delegates accepted the request to save the conference.
Meanwhile, the terms of the agreement, which were “ineffective support”, contained the words “gradual exit”.
There are questions about how to define ‘uncomfortable’ and ‘useless’.
Payment to poor and vulnerable countries
The agreement was partially advanced on the demands of poor and vulnerable countries that rich countries be held accountable for financing most emissions.
For example, the agreement “urges developed national parties to double their joint provision for climate funding by 2025.”
I also mentioned the so-called “losses and damages” for the first time in the coverage section of the contract. The costs and damages that some countries are already facing due to climate change are pointed out, and for many years these countries have been wanting money to deal with it.
Under the agreement, the developed countries agreed to continue discussions on this topic in principle. Let’s see where it takes us.
Global Carbon Market Rules
Negotiators finalized an agreement to set rules for carbon markets, which could lead to spending trillions of dollars on forest conservation, renewable energy facilities and other programs to combat climate change.
Companies and countries with vast forests have prompted Glasgow to forge a stronger deal in government-led carbon markets, and in the hopes of legalizing the fast-growing global voluntary compensation markets.
Under the agreement, certain measures will be implemented to ensure that receipts under national emissions targets are not doubled, but bilateral trade will not be taxed to finance climate adaptation, which is a key requirement for less developed countries.
Several notable side agreements were reached. The United States and the European Union have led a global effort to reduce methane levels, with nearly 100 countries pledging to reduce methane emissions by 30% from 2020 to 2030.
The United States and China, the world’s two largest carbon emitters, have announced a joint statement on cooperation in climate change. The deal reassured visitors of Beijing’s intention to combat global warming after a long hiatus.
Companies and investors have offered a large number of voluntary pledges that will gradually eliminate petrol cars, decarbonize air travel, protect forests, and ensure sustainable investment.
The agreement, for the first time, includes asking the language to reduce their dependence on coal, drop fossil fuel subsidies, and target hierarchies that target energy sources that scientists say are the main driver of man-made climate change.
Scientists say temperatures above 1.5 degrees Celsius could lead to significant sea level rise, and disasters including severe droughts, severe storms and wildfires will be far worse than the world already sees.
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