Will Paris Summit Finally Deliver on Climate Front?

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Steam and smoke rises from a coal burning power plant in Gelsenkirchen, Germany in this file photo. AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File
Steam and smoke rises from a coal burning power plant in Gelsenkirchen, Germany in this file photo. AP Photo/Martin Meissner

All developed nations and emerging economies have to work closely to confront the clear and present danger of global warming.  All major five top emitters, including US, India and China, must be part of the solution. The world can still avoid dangerous global warming if global emissions stay below 1000 giga tons of carbon in order not to exceed the two-degree threshold. However, by 2011 countries have already emitted over half of this budget, and if current emission trend continues, we will exceed it before 2050. A broad consensus on core issues like legal nature of the universal agreement, strengthen climate adaptation and financial support and rules to ensure transparency and accountability are the bottom line for the success of Paris COP 21.

PROF SYED IQBAL HASNAIN | Special to Caravan Daily

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he global political response to climate change began at Rio Earth Summit in 1992. The ‘Rio convention’ included the adaptation of UN Framework of Climate Change (UNFCCC). This convention set out a framework for action aimed at stabilizing the atmospheric concentration of Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) to avoid ‘dangerous human interferences with the climate system. The main objectives of the annual conference of parties (COP) is to review the convention implementation.

The first COP was held at Berlin in 1995. The COP 15 was held in 2009 at Copenhagen where I was one of the delegates and made the presentation on Himalayan glaciers. I strongly argued based on the field based scientific data that “Himalayan glaciers are retreating at staggering rate”. Their melt water is crucial to some 40% of world population. Hindu Kush-Himalaya is a climate change hot spot. The rapid melting is altering the lifestyle and livelihood of the local communities by threatening to bring more floods and drought to downstream communities.

Unfortunately, no legally binding agreement was signed at Copenhagen and world leaders from 196 countries were returned disappointed including President Obama of USA.

cartoon climate change paresh

World leaders, however,  at Copenhagen had agreed to an objective of reducing global emissions in order to limit  global warming (below 2-degree Celsius.) This was subsequently adopted   by all countries as a part of Cancun agreements m

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