Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Important Highlights of Paris Climate Accord

Introduction

It seems the largest confluence of nations have finally arrived at a draft agreement after major irritants involving the developing nations have been removed and they have largely started taking earnest efforts at slashing the carbon-based energy fuels since last  year.  Last year, after the damning difference between the developed and developing nations forced them to stay put in their demands during the Copenhagen summit, leading to the falling apart of a probable deal, many scientists had shown through studies that the earliest effects due to the rising temperature have begun to be felt across the globe, mostly in the form of devastating floods in Miami and the unforeseen drought and water shortages in some parts of northern China.

paris accord

Paris Accord


This time around, the deal was met with an eruption of cheers and standing ovation from thousands of delegates from across various parts of the world. The fact of the matter, the accord currently clinched was evasive for several decades in the past due to the major issue on who should be asked to do maximum cuts.  In the past, the developed countries tried to absolve from this responsibility due to the domestic pressures by exempting the developing countries like India and China.  The present form of the accord is hailed by many as the universal agreement on the climate change, as each member country has to contribute to its overall success.


climate accord

  1. Accoutabillity for All: In the current form, every country, big or small, has to take the responsibility of initiating actions to curb the use of fossil fuels.
  2.  Countries to Implement: Each signatory to this landmark deal have some legally binding things to do to ensure the desired level of reduction in fossil fuel use by 2020.  Accordingly, they have to bring in stringent legislation in their dominions to ensure the observance of laws forcing their citizens to reduce the use of fossil fuels and adoption of renewable and carbon-free energy sources such as nuclear, wind, solar and water powers.
  3. Quantum of Change: However, the quantum of change to be affected by each signatory country is very fluid as per the tenets of the new accord. This would largely vary with the scope and ambition of each member country.
  4. Self Accountable: Anyhow, the member countries have to reconvene the Earth Climate Meet every five years, starting from 2020, and discuss their updated plans as the follow-up initiatives to remain in the scrutiny of other member countries.  Through these midterm reports, they are supposed to discuss what they are doing to cut the emissions against their submitted plans.
  5. Accounting System: Other member countries will be legally monitoring and reporting on the emissions level achieved by each member country against the submitted report. This reporting would be done using a yet-to-be-developed Universal Accounting System.
  6.  No Decision on Corpus Fund:There is no redressal on the long-pending demand of the developing countries on setting up of a $100 billion a year corpus for helping them tide over the changes in the climate in the coming years.  However, there is a mention of the same in the preamble of this accord. Hence, it is not legally binding for the participating nations to set up a corpus for the same. In the larger interest of the planet, the least developed countries have not made this an issue this time.


Thuruvananthapuram Brazil