COP 23

20/11/2017 4025 Environment and Ecology | Climate | View Recent Current Affairs

  • Fiji has presided over COP23 in Bonn with the support of the government of Germany. COP23 took place in Bonn, Germany, from 6-17 November.
  • COP23 is the informal name for the 23rd Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held at Bonn.
  • The UNFCCC was adopted in 1992 at the Rio Earth Summit, which marked the beginning of the international community’s first concerted effort to confront the problem of climate change. Known also as the Rio Convention, the UNFCCC established a framework for action to stabilise concentrations of greenhouse gases in the earth’s atmosphere. The UNFCCC entered into force in 1994, and nearly all of the world’s nations—a total of 195—have now signed on.
  • At COP21, held in Paris in November-December 2015, the parties negotiated what is known as the Paris Agreement, which established specific actions and targets for reducing greenhouse gases emissions, mitigating and adapting to the effects of climate change, and financing mitigation and adaptation efforts in developing countries.
  • The agreement took effect nearly a year later. Signatory countries agreed to work to limit global temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius and to make strong efforts to keep the rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The Paris Agreement is especially significant because it is a legally binding agreement.

About Paris agreement:

  • Despite the strong objection by developed countries, the UNFCCC principle of Common but Differentiated Responsibilities incorporated into the Paris Agreement to provide developing countries a cushion.
  • The agreement binds together pledges by individual nations to cut or limit emissions from fossil-fuel burning, within a framework of rules that provide for monitoring and verification as well as financial and technical assistance for developing countries
  • The main goal is to bring down pollution levels so that the rise in global temperatures is limited to no more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial averages.
  • This agreement also expressed an ambition to restrict the temperature increase even further, to 1.5 degrees C, if possible.
  • The deal also requires developed nations to continue to provide funding to help poorer countries cut their carbon emissions and adapt to the effects of climate change – but does not set a legally binding level of money.
  • This non-binding agreement requires developed countries to continue a goal of “mobilizing” $100?billion of public and private finance for developing countries each year after 2020. It also calls on them to pledge a higher sum by 2025.
  • Financing had been a stumbling block throughout the talks. Developing nations had demanded legally binding commitments for developed nations to give more cash. Earlier drafts had proposed such a deal but this was scrapped after the US made clear it would never ratify such an agreement.
  • In 2018, nations will hold a “facilitative conference” to revisit some of the emissions reductions ideas. If it is ratified by more than 55 percent of nations or nations that cause 55 percent of global emissions, Paris will enter into force two years later, in 2020.
  • Then, in 2023, the world will meet again for a “global stock take,” where countries are supposed to announce new and improved emission-reduction plans. Rich countries may also announce more monetary help for poor ones at these events. And every five years after that, indefinitely, the world will meet again to discuss its renewed plans to decarbonizes.
  • These are the two milestones in the international climate agenda: 2018 and 2023. In between now and then, the economic trends of investment and divestment and fossil-fuel burning and solar printing will churn and fluctuate, but the international community will observe them most at those two sessions.

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