The 21st Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is scheduled to occur in Paris, France from November 30th through December 11th 2015. There are exceptionally high expectations for this year’s conference; it is anticipated a new international climate change agreement will be agreed upon by all of the member states. Here is a breakdown of the impending agreement:
WHO is involved in the new agreement?
All member nations of the UNFCCC will be involved in creating the new international climate change agreement.
WHAT will the new agreement include?
The new agreement will be different from the Kyoto Protocol (click here to learn more about the Kyoto Protocol à Kyoto Protocol). Instead of having one global standard that all nations must “commit” to, the new agreement will have each nation propose a “contribution” on behalf of their country. Each nation will create a plan called, Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs). Although there is currently no standard for what will be included in these plans, generally it is expected that INDCs will include mitigation plans, emissions reductions, adaptation efforts, capacity building etc.
WHY is a new agreement so important?
The Kyoto Protocol did not achieve the goal of reducing the amount of global emissions released and halting the warming of the climate. Many nations (the United States included) never even ratified the Kyoto Protocol. By changing the terminology from commitment to contribution, and allowing individual nations to create their own plans, the hope is that more nations will approve of the new agreement. The climate is continuing to change, entire countries are disappearing as sea level rises (click here to learn about the country of Tuvalu and their struggle with sea level rise Tuvalu), storms are worsening, traditional lifestyles are impacted, and plants and animals are dying off. Climate Change is a global problem and needs to be addressed at a global level. A new international agreement is a step in the right direction.
For more information on the coming conference and international agreement see Expectations
For more information on COP 21 in Paris see COP21
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