List Headline Image
Updated by Alex Morgan on Dec 22, 2015
Headline for 5 Talking Points from COP21
 REPORT
Alex Morgan Alex Morgan
Owner
5 items   1 followers   0 votes   7 views

5 Talking Points from COP21

When the COP21 climate change summit opened, world leaders provided some big doses of political pressure and rhetoric-infused discussions. However, they didn’t offer a lot of remedies. There were some big differences of opinion standing in the way of a solid agreement.
As numerous government leaders, reporters and observers started talking about one of the most dreadful problems humanity has ever faced, 147 national leaders took to the podium one by one. Here are the most important takeaways from COP21.

1

Everyone Wants to Fight Rising Temperatures, But No One Knows Who Will Do It

Everyone Wants to Fight Rising Temperatures, But No One Knows Who Will Do It

One of the most important issues in various negotiations is to determine who’s most responsible for the cause of rising global temperatures and global warming. Whether it’s solar power or other kinds of renewable energy, no one comes forward to make a commitment to pay for it.
A lot of poorer nations (and some less poor ones) claim that the burden rests solely on developed economies. They believe developed nations should cut down on amassed wealth by reducing fuel emissions.
Many leaders from small, Pacific island nations claimed that a major climate impact isn’t far. Christopher J. Loeak, President of the Marshall Islands, said that he believed developed economies should step up to the plate in order to save small nations like theirs from global warming.

Even China’s president, Xi Jinping, made a similar call. He believes that developed economies should make special commitments. According to him, developed countries should live up to their expectations. Until now, wealthy countries have promised to provide poor countries with $100 billion every year by 2020. So far, these countries have averaged only $62 billion per year.

Image: Activ8 Energies

2

America is an Outlier

America is an Outlier

United States commander-in-chief Barack Obama gave a motivational 14-minute speech. However, when it comes to actual commitments, experts believe that U.S will play hardball. Barack Obama believes that climate change is already upon us. However, he’s positive that with the right efforts, things can change for better.
When it comes to negotiations, United States will be one of the toughest to make any long-term, promising commitments. The Government has already made it clear that it’s not up for signing an international treaty that’s legally binding. Though the U.S will keep focusing on solar power generation and other forms of renewable energy, it still doesn’t seem interested in taking a solid stand, largely due to intense partizan pressure from President Obama’s domestic political rivals.

Image: Will White

3

Leaders Focus on Grand Gestures

Leaders Focus on Grand Gestures

At COP21, it was quite clear that national leaders love grand gestures. Many leaders pledged billions of dollars in financial support and aid toward developing new renewable technology. They even promised to reduce fossil fuel consumptions.
The most high-profile announcements came from the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, and French President, Francois Hollande. They promised to gather over $1 trillion in the next 15 years to bring reliable and affordable solar power to more than 100 sun-rich poor and developing countries.
Even Germany, Norway and the United Kingdom pledged $5 billion to fight against tropical deforestation. China, United States and India teamed up with 17 countries to double the investment in clean energy development and research. Over the next 5 years, these countries plan to invest $10 billion.
Such announcements have given critics something to talk about. No one still knows how technical and financial support will be provided. It’s still unclear how all this is supposed to be achieved by the 2020 deadline.

Image: Pete Souza

4

For Critics, Pledges Aren’t Good Enough

For Critics, Pledges Aren’t Good Enough

Leaders from developed nations faced a lot of criticism from NGOs for not promising more to reassure developing and poor countries that they are focused on dealing with this problem. However, there was a positive reaction regarding a pledge from EU members, along with the pledges from Canada and USA, to invest $248 million in the Global Environment Facility. This facility helps vulnerable countries adapt to harmful effects of climate change.
However, critics were disappointed with some leaders, such as Jean-Claude Juncker, President, European Commission. He was criticized by a lot of experts because of setting unrealistic and unconvincing targets. Even Malcolm Turnbull, Prime Minister of Australia was criticized for being unclear in his approach.

5

Eco-Friendly, But Underfed

Eco-Friendly, But Underfed

Lastly (and arguably a quite petty point), it’s worth mentioning that Le Bourget’s halls were divided by chipboard walls, colourful plastic animals, hanging gardens and signs that food is locally-sourced and seasonal.
In an appropriate quirk, all the cups used on site were reusable and could be conveniently exchanged for £1 GBP. Moreover, salads, sandwiches and soups were available in recyclable paper and cardboard containers. However, feeding thousands of people proved to be too much. Long lines formed in the dining area, with people unsure about the food arrangements, and how everything was being handled.

Image: Pixabay