Our loyal UrbanMeisters will know, the COP21 that was held in Paris in December 2015 was a very special moment for all of us:
First and foremost, it was an important milestone to combat climat change as 195 participating countries + the European Union adopted the first-ever universal, legally binding global climate change deal with the objective to keep global warming below 2.0°C. This means shifting away from fossil fuels as part of efforts as scientists have warned that severe flooding, heatwaves and drought, as well as mass species’ extinction will follow as results of the global warming.
But also for our team it was a milestone as UrbanMeisters.com was launched the first day of COP21 and we reported directly from the key events as our first challenge to make sustainable lifestyle easier and more accessible to our readers.
And now beginning of October 2016 there was another milestone in the fight against climate change and even though the way is still long, we share with you this encouraging news to make us continue our every efforts and small steps.
What’s COP21 again?
The COP is the annual Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The COP21 was the 21st annual conference and was held in Paris, France in December 2015. It was a huge with roughly 67,000 participants including official delegates from government, intergovernmental organisations, UN agencies, Non-Government Organisations and civil society.
What are the results of COP21?
The agreement set out a global action plan to fight back climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions in order to limit global warming to below 2°C. The aim is further to try to limit the increase to 1.5°C since this is supposed to significantly reduce the various negative impacts of climate change. To make it feasible and realistic they aligned to take into account the needs and capacities of each country understanding that developing countries need more time to adapt. The agreement will enter into force in 2020.
However, the COP21 meeting was just the first step outlining the agreement form and content. After the meeting, the participating countries took over as they actually have to sign the agreement.
Only after at least 55 Parties to the UNFCCC accounting in total for at least an estimated 55% of the total global greenhouse gas emissions have signed, the overall agreement becomes legally binding.
What happened this week?
India ratifies October 2nd 2016
India, which accounts for about 4.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions, ratified the Paris agreement on October 2nd 2016. Prime Minister Narendra Modi explained that the date has a special meaning as it is the birth anniversary of Gandhi – an example of how to live with a low carbon footprint.
The two big emitting countries China and USA, who represent together 38% of global emissions, having agreed to ratification in September 2016. now all eyes were on Europe …
European Union ratifies on October 4th 2016
To resume what happened in the words of French Environment Minister Segolene Royal “Victory! ». The 28 EU countries are responsible for about 12 percent of global emissions have not only agreed to ratify, but to fast-track the ratification of the COP21 agreement. The EU was pushed to accelerate the ratification after a new report predicted that climate change would surpass dangerous levels despite the Paris agreement. Already in September UN weather agency warned that 2016 is most likely to be the warmest year since records began.
The EU agreement helps the agreement pass the 55 percent threshold and thus enter into force. VICTORY!
The UNFCCC has confirmed on October 5th 2016 that a total of 56.87% of total global greenhouse gas emissions have been achieved and after a 30-day period the Paris agreement becomes officially binding.
Just in time as November 7th 2016 is the start of COP22, the next annual meeting in Marrakech, Morocco.
UrbanMeisters will keep you posted, but let’s take it as a positive tailwind in the fight against climate change and global warming.