Climate Deal 2015

We Have a Paris Agreement

The Paris negotiations concluded with a universal climate agreement. The process was marked by the positive role that smaller countries played and a stronger willingness of countries to work in coalitions that broke away from the outdated split of the world along North and South lines. A new era has started and we are excited.

On Saturday, December 12th, the world saw the historical adoption of the Paris Agreement. More than 190 countries agreed to tackle climate change and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. The Agreement gives a tremendous economic signal to investors, governments and businesses that a low-carbon transformation is needed.

On Friday, the Presidency had carried consultations throughout the day between Parties after the release of another version of the text. Several progressive developing countries (Mexico, Brazil, Nigeria, Colombia, Gambia, Palau, Marshall Islands, Grenada and South Africa) took the lead to bridge across diverging opinions and achieve a compromise. Brazil also announced it had joined the High Ambition Coalition, a group of countries advocating for an ambitious agreement.

The Paris negotiations were marked by the positive role that smaller countries played. Their leadership helped engaged Parties between different negotiating groups and undoubtedly was part of reaching an agreement on Saturday.

What’s in the Agreement:

Emissions reductions

  • Negotiations on differentiation were intense, but finally Parties agreed to reach greenhouse gas emission neutrality in the second half of the century, understanding that peaking emissions will take longer for developing countries.
  • Parties decided on a long-term goal in which temperature must remain well below 2 degrees, recognizing the aspirational target and need to pursue efforts to achieve 1.5 degrees.
  • Countries are expected to review their climate plans known as Intended Nationally Determined Contributions every five years and increase ambition from their current plan. This is a clear cycle starting 2020, but countries are asked to review their current submissions before then.
  • There will be a first and second collective stocktake in 2018 and 2023 respectively.

Climate Finance

  • Developed countries shall provide financial resources to developing countries to aid with mitigation and adaptation efforts.
  • The text aims to make finance flows consistent with a pathway to low-carbon development.

Adaptation

  • In 2017 there will be a review of the work of adaptation-related institutional arrangements.
  • The text formalizes the need for political parity between mitigation and adaptation

Loss and Damage

  • The text includes a separate provision on loss and damage, focusing on advancing the Warsaw Mechanism which was established two years prior to Paris.
  • Loss and damage will not involve compensation or liability, but will be directed towards “minimizing”and “averting” loss and damage such as early warning systems.

Transparency

  • A transparency framework now applies to all countries in the form of a system of verification which gives flexibility to developed countries to provide support to developing countries
  • Developed countries are expected to biennially communicate their quantitative and qualitative finance goals

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