Voices from Africa - December 2015

Published on 18 Dec 2015 - 8 pages

COP21: Global agreement to tackle climate change “an unprecedented opportunity to keep the planet safe”

The new global climate change agreement reached on 12 December, “is an unprecedented opportunity to keep the planet safe, and sends a strong signal that countries, rich and poor, are committed to work together to tackle climate change,” said UNDP Administrator Helen Clark at the conclusion of the two-week summit, held in Paris, France.

More than 190 countries supported the Paris Agreement that establishes a goal to limit the world’s average temperature increase to “well below 2 degrees Celsius” in relation to pre-industrial levels, driving efforts to stop it at 1.5 degrees Celsius. In addition, the Agreement calls on developed countries to provide USD 100 billion per year to support developing countries adapt to climate change, and refers to international cooperation to assist countries at risk of harm by climate change, the so-called “loss and damage”.

Currently over 180 countries have made pledges to decrease carbon emissions and 187 have already presented strategies to curb emissions within the next ten to 15 years. As a first step in implementing the Paris Agreement, UN Secretary Ban Ki-moon will convene a high level signing ceremony in New York on 22 April 2016.

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