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New global climate deal

From 30 November to 12 December, Paris hosted the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 11th session of the meeting of the parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 11). European Union was represented at the summit by Donald Tusk, President of the European Council.

The summit was concluded with the adoption of a new global climate change agreement, the so called Paris agreement. The new, universal and most importantly legally binding climate deal was adopted by 195 countries..

The most important part of the deal is the agreement by governments to keep the increase in global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5°C. Governments also agreed to communicate every 5 years their contributions to set more ambitious targets and, to ensure transparency and oversight, to report to each other and the public on how well they are doing to implement their targets. While developed countries with the EU further agreed to continue providing support to reduce emissions and build resilience to climate change impacts in developing countries.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: “Today the world is united in the fight against climate change. Today the world gets a lifeline, a last chance to hand over to future generations a world that is more stable, a healthier planet, fairer societies and more prosperous economies. While EU Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete added: “This agreement is a major win for Europe. But more importantly, it is a major win for the global community.

While political leaders see the agreement as a great victory for the environment, environmentalist are far more skeptical. Kumi Naido, international executive director of Greenpeace, stated for instance that the agreement “contains an inherent, ingrained injustice. The nations which caused this problem have promised too little to help the people on the frontlines of this crisis who are already losing their lives and livelihoods for problems they did not create“. Similarly the Centre for science and Environment claims, that the deal favors developed countries, as it erases their  historical responsibility and does not predicts and significant finance or emission cuts before 2020.


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