UN Climate Summit paves the way to the 2015 Paris Convention
By admin October 1, 2014

2014 Climate Summit

Today’s ecological and environmental problems are increasingly global in nature and to deal with these problems there is a need for international cooperation. On September 23, 2014, UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon invited all heads of states to the U.N. Climate Summit, during which a pact/treaty, called the 2015 Paris Agreement, was planned ahead to strengthen international cooperation on climate issues as a replacement of the Kyoto Protocol. The 2015 Paris Agreement, once ratified and comes into effect, will be a milestone in the global battle against climate change. Under this agreement, all countries of the world, including the industrialized countries and emerging markets as biggest emitters of greenhouse gases (GHG), will be bound by emission targets and regulations to deep reductions in global (GHG) emission in order to achieve the 2° C temperature goal. This recent climate summit is of great importance in setting up political commitments to keep governments on a track towards reaching a consensus on the 2015 Paris Agreement.


Three days before the convention, tens of thousands of demonstrators gathered in Manhattan to raise an alarm regarding the dangers of climate change. Nowadays, you do not need to be a scientist or environmentalist to notice the effects of global warming and understand the urgency of the matter. In the first decade of the 2000s, the international media covered melting glaciers, the threatened extinction of polar bears, the sheen of plastic covering wide swaths of the Pacific Ocean, and the impact environmental problems are having on developing countries. As a result, environmentalism has become a new norm. The international community has been working together to establish rules and regulatory authority to address the climate change problems. The Kyoto Protocol presented a decisive step taken by the international community to require industrialized countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by more than a third by 2012 and introduced the use of emission credits as part of a trade system. However, the Kyoto Protocol expired in 2012. After rounds of negotiation, the parties finally determined their will of concluding the new binding agreement as a replacement at the 2015 Paris Convention.


There are still many challenges in front of negotiators as there are significant obstacles to reaching an agreement. One important obstacle is to expand and regulate the carbon market and link it with a non-market based system to reduce aggregate costs of all actors in achieving emission targets. During the past summit, this obstacle has been at the center of discussion. Negotiators have reached degrees of agreement on how the linkage can be established. One significant feature of the 2015 Paris Agreement is the widening of participants including all the nations of the world. Emerging markets, such as China, has announced its willingness to participate in the 2015 Paris Agreement on the summit. However, how can this new agreement balance between environmental protection and development of the least developed country is still a question that has not been clearly addressed. As obstacles remain, it is worth watching for more progress toward the 2015 Paris Convention.

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