Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Towards a Global Climate Agreement at COP21 (WEF)

Much of the climate momentum that occurred at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos is in anticipation of COP21 where it is hoped that a global agreement can be signed.

Fran├žois Hollande, the President of France and host to next year's COP21 climate talks in Paris, made a number of prescient comments in Davos.

"I call upon the whole of business to make an economic contribution to the most fragile of states, in the name of solidarity and security. I call on you also to counter another threat which is one that looms over the very future of this world: we need to fight global warming,"  Hollande said.

He continued saying, "The time is past when humankind thought it could selfishly draw on exhaustible resources. We know now the world is not a commodity, is not a source of revenue; it’s a common good, it’s our heritage. And the consequences of climate change are fully known now – we’re not talking about theories anymore, we’re talking about certainties."

Lord Stern has made it clear that the decisions taken at the intergovernmental conference in Paris in late 2015 will shape the next 20 years.

"Paris needs to result in a binding global agreement that will map out an effective fight against climate change – that is the major challenge of the twenty-first century," Hollande said.

UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon added, "Ours is the first generation that can end poverty, and the last that can take steps to avoid the worst impacts of climate change."

The private sector has an important advocacy role to play. They must push governments to be more ambitious with their targets ahead of COP21.

"We have a single mission, to protect and hand on the planet to the next generation," Hollande said. "We are faced with a moral and political responsibility, because a botched solution to a crisis might result in exacerbating the consequences of climate change."

As he introduced the Live Earth: Road to Paris concert, Al Gore said: "The purpose is to have a billion voices with one message to demand climate change now...It is absolutely crucial that we build public will for an agreement."

Although the importance of securing a global climate deal is obvious it will not be easy. "There is a huge challenge ahead for the rest of this year," World Bank President Jim Kim told the Guardian.

"If this year goes badly, and I don't think it will, it would be a massive missed opportunity," said Nobel laureate Michael Spence Michael Spence.

Related
WEF Summaries: Climate Change
Business Leadership on Climate Change (WEF Summaries)
Curbing Fossil Fuels - Carbon Pricing and an End to Subsidies (WEF Summaries)
The Value of Investing in Climate Mitigation (WEF Summaries)
Global Economies Feeling the Heat from Climate Change (WEF Summaries)
Collaboration and Cooperation are Imperitive (WEF Summaries)
What is The World Economic Forum (WEF)
Risks Associated with Environment, Climate, Water Crisis and Extreme Weather in the WEF Report

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