COP 21 was able to reach their main goal in coming to a consensus on an agreement to keep global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius (which they hope to limit even more to 1.5 degrees Celsius) above pre-industrial levels. The Paris Agreement was able to address that and more: including all of the crucial areas that the more than 40,000 delegates from 195 countries identified as essential to achieving their goals.
- Reducing emissions that contribute to temperature rise, with a goal of reaching the global peak of GHG emissions as soon as possible.
- Establishing a transparency system throughout the globe to account for climate action nation to nation.
- Increasing adaptability of nations as we deal with the already occurring and future impacts of climate change.
- Strengthening nations so they can recover from already occurring and future damages of climate change.
- Establishing a network of support, including finance, to build a clean and resilient future for the globe.
Climate change is an issue that the world will have to face together, and in Paris, we saw an example of how we can do that. According to Christiana Figueres, the Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, the Paris Agreement serves as a message to the people of the world that “a low-carbon, resilient future is now the chosen course for humanity in this century.” There is still a great deal of work to do, but it’s worth it – we don’t have a back up plan!