Thursday, 26 November 2020

UN in your language

Exciting results 10 years after Kyoto

Xenja Santarelli / Flickr CC BY 2.0

18 February 2015 – According to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the countries who took on targets under the Kyoto Protocol, the world's first emission reduction treaty, have collectively reduced their emissions by over 20 per cent – exciting results in comparison to the 5 per cent target they aimed to meet. A result that also underlines what can be achieved via international cooperative action as momentum builds towards negotiations in Paris next year on a universal climate agreement.

"The Kyoto Protocol was the first critical step – today we must take further and more far reaching action towards a truly sustainable future for seven billion, rising to over nine billion, people. Despite our best efforts, greenhouse gases continue to rise, threatening sustainable development and putting millions if not billions of people at risk over the coming decades", said Ms Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC.

As such, the Paris agreement of December 2015 will bring all nations into common cause in support of men, women and children everywhere. The UNFCCC secretariat is expected to complete final accounting for the first phase later this year or early next year.

A long term, paradigm shift

"Paris will not solve climate change at a pen stroke. But similarly it must trigger a world-wide over-achievement and a clear sense of direction that can restore the natural balance of emissions on planet Earth", said Ms Figueres.

"It needs to be a long term, paradigm shift that reflects today's scientific reality – one that speaks to the urgency of swiftly peaking global greenhouse gas emissions, triggering a deep de-carbonization of the global economy and achieving climate neutrality in the second half of the century."

From Lima to Geneva

Meanwhile, 194 countries convened in Geneva last week to produce a negotiating text for the successor climate change agreement that is excepted to be approved later this year in Paris.

"This fulfils the internationally-accepted timetable for reaching a possible treaty because it alerts capitals to the fact that a legal instrument could be adopted in Paris. It does not, however, set this possibility in stone - it merely opens the door for this possibility. As for the legal nature of the agreement, this will only be clarified later in the year", Ms Figueres concluded.

Ms Figueres, what do you expect from COP21?

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