While science evolves, the overwhelming consensus among scientists is that climate change is manmade. The Copenhagen Climate Change Conference which took place in 2009 raised climate change policy to the highest political level with 115 world leaders in attendance. The question of a worldwide climate deal has been up in the air since talks fell apart at the 2009 UN conference in Copenhagen, and that was the last time that engagement at such a high level took place. Click here for details about this Conference.
The latest reports from the Intergovernmental Panel Climate Change highlighted the acceleration of global warming and its effects. Despite strong involvement of the European Union and France in post-Kyoto negotiations, as well as agreed-upon concrete commitments, it is evident that government efforts alone will not singlehandedly prevent climate change. To achieve this, it is important to involve all stakeholders such as: national governments, businesses, financial institutions, scientists, civil society and private citizens.
The next Climate Change Conference will be in Lima, Peru in December this year. Most view this upcoming COP as an opportunity to pave the way to signing a new treaty : Click here to access documents and the agenda for this upcoming COP.
The most important sustainability question centres around how we can we sustain human life, economic prosperity and support developing countries without pushing dangerous levels of Green House Gas emissions. Many argue that this is indeed the greatest challenge for humanity in this century.
What is needed is an agreement that will be effective and put the world on a pathway towards a decarbonised future, most likely to take place at the Climate Change Conference in Paris in 2015.
It is encouraging to see that a number of events took place in recent months which indicate serious intention and political will, creating momentum behind action towards managing climate change. Those events include:
1- UN Climate Summit 2014 in September 2014
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon invited world leaders, from government, finance, business, and civil society to Climate Summit 2014 this 23 September to galvanise and catalyse climate action.
The original concept was to use this event as an opportunity to bring together the eaters of China and the US as well as the G8 leaders to commit to negotiations and invest in capital to ensure real momentum is gained as we head into paris later this year. The Summit brought together 130 governments who collectively made a concerted effort towards global action on climate change.
2- EU 2030 Package
EU leaders agreed on 23 October 2014 the domestic 2030 greenhouse gas reduction target of at least 40% compared to 1990 together with the other main building blocks of the 2030 policy framework for climate and energy, as proposed by the European Commission in January 2014.
This 2030 policy framework aims to make the European Union's economy and energy system more competitive, secure and sustainable and also sets a target of at least 27% for renewable energy and energy savings by 2030.agreement signed china and us to reduce emissions by 20% and china also agreed to peak and reduce emissions by 2030
3- World Summit of Regions for Climate
Chaired by Arnold Schwarzenegger, former Governor of California and Founder of non-profit organisation, R20, this summit brought together regions and local governments from across five continents, as well as economic leaders, in order to formulate a new international agreement on climate change.
The summit ended with concrete commitments for sustainable development, by signing the Paris Declaration – a real road map for the United Nations conference on climate change (COP21) that will take place in Paris in 2015. The Summit closed with a signing ceremony involving six networks of cities and regions who commit to the Paris Declaration.
These are all positive indicators towards a tangible global agreement on climate change, the challenge is to ensure that concrete outcomes emerge.
Sandra Anani is passionate about sustainability, with over 19 years’ experience. She has dedicated her career to sustainable development and communications.