World’s Leaders Sealed Climate Change Deal in Paris, What’s Next?

By Wadner Pierre

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Photo Credit: Arnaud Buissou-MEDDE/SG COP2.

On Dec. 12, 2015, 196 countries, including world’s largest polluters United States, China and India, reached an agreement on climate pact, known as Paris Agreement. Some called it a historical agreement and others like The Guardian’s Fiona Harvey called it “World’s greatest Diplomatic success”.

U.S. President Barack Obama praised France’s President François Holland and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for their efforts and patience to allow head of states to debate the  threat that planet is facing, and agree on a framework to address it after exhausting all mechanisms that were at their disposal.

On its Twitter account, the United Nations Conference on Climate change celebrated the accord and called it a “Historical moment.”
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In the United States, this agreement is seen as diplomatic victory for the Obama administration. Addressing the American people on the climate change agreement, Pres. Obama said, “Together we prove what can be done when the world stands as one.” He added, “American people should be proud because this is a tribute of American leadership.” While Pres. Obama attributed the success of this agreement to American leadership, high-ranking Republican in the Congress criticized it déjà-vu.

The chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.),“The news remains the same.” He added, “ This agreement is no more binding than any other ‘agreement’ from any conference of the parties over the last 21 years, ” referring to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol on climate change, which the United States itself did not ratify.

According to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change the authors of the Paris Agreement, recognize that climate change represents “an urgent and potentially irreversible threat to human societies and the planet.”

They also admitted “deep reductions in global emissions will be required in order to achieve the ultimate objective of the Convention and emphasizing the need for urgency in addressing climate change.”

The question scientists and environmental activists have been asked after the Paris Agreement is, couldn’t world leaders have done more through a more robust and promising agreement to reduce pollution and save our planet?  James Hansen a former NASA scientist, who is considered as the pioneer of ‘climate change awareness,’ called the agreement simply ‘a fraud.’ For him the leaders could have more.

Hansen told The Guardian, the Paris accord on climate change is “a fraud really, a fake.” He added, “It’s just bullshit for them to say: ‘We’ll have a 2C warming target and then try to do a little better every five years.’ He criticized the actors for their inaction on taking robust steps to solve the issue.

He said, “There is no action, just promises. As long as fossil fuels appear to be the cheapest fuels out there, they will be continued to be burned,” said Hansen.

Most scientists agree that human activities have contributed to global warming. Many studies have showed that the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions could potentially help reduce global warming and make the environment safer for future generations.

Dec. 12 will certainly remain a historical date for both politicians and environmental activist. But what still remains uncertain is how will the signatories of this agreement turn their words into action. Will Dec. 12 will remain an important for the planet as France’s President Holland declared after the agreement was reached?

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Some people are skeptical of this agreement and they have right to be that way for this is not the first time the world has come together as one to address global warming and signed protocol to fight global warming, but little progress has made.

We also know in the international theater, the actors  play by their own rules, meaning they do what best for them regardless their negative impact on the rest of the planet. Will Paris Agreement make a difference by forcing governments and transnational corporations to take necessary steps to cut greenhouse gas emissions? Only time will tell.

Finally, One thing is clear is that the planet can’t wait anymore. Earth-quake, droughts, tsunamis and floods have happened more frequently and and the the rise of the Ocean levels are getting higher than they had ever been before. We have do to something to prevent our planet from further deteriorating before it’s too late.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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