Since 1995, the Conference of Parties (COP) has met annually to combat climate change. They produced the Kyoto Protocol at COP3, the Montreal Action Plan at COP11 and the Green Climate Fund at COP17. COP21 (also called the Paris Climate Conference) now seeks to secure ‘a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2°C.’ Such an attempt is the first in 20 years, and, as the conference proceeds, the leaders have already reached numerous commitments to help secure this goal.
Here are the top five commitments to come out of the conference so far:
5. Creating Climate Smart Cities [[[image 0- medium right]]]
With Urban areas accounting for over 70% of energy-related CO2 emissions and producing almost half of all global greenhouse gases, cities stand on the front lines of climate impact. Led by Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of the City of Paris, and Michael R. Bloomberg, the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, the Cities Climate Finance Leadership Alliance aims to ‘accelerate investment in low-emission, climate resilient infrastructure in cities, and to close the investment gap in urban areas over the next fifteen years.’ They are currently working on how to practically translate this plan into action in cities around the world. Only through green energy and ecologically friendly infrastructure can the cities of the world transform into sustainable homes for millions.
Read more about supporting climate smart cities here: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=52731#.VmgjBWSLQy7
4. Money, Money, Money [[[image 1- medium right]]]
It takes funding to change the world. In the lead up to and during the first few days of the conference, numerous countries and organisations have already committed to allocating funds towards networks that battle climate change. Canada pledged to ‘provide CAD 2.65 billion over the next five years in international climate finance to support a transition to low-carbon economies that are both sustainable and more resilient’ and the UK pledged to increase support for international climate finance by at least 50%, providing at least GBP 5.8 billion between 2016-2021, aiming to spend half on adaptation.’ A number of banks also made commitments to allocate funds towards sustainable initiatives, including the the African Development Bank, which ‘announced that it would triple its climate financing to reach nearly USD 5 billion annually by 2020.’
Read a full list of the current monetary commitments here: http://newsroom.unfccc.int/financial-flows/list-of-recent-climate-funding-announcements/
3. Research and Development for Low-Carbon Technologies [[[image 2- medium right]]]
Outdated technology holds a large proportion of the world back from living as sustainably as they would like. Infrastructure in developing countries especially remains ecologically inefficient as it focuses on cheap agriculture or manufacturing, To combat this, representatives of both international governments and business leaders in the private sector announced commitments and partnerships to ‘achieve a major increase in investments for research and development in low-carbon technologies and ways to speed up their diffusion in developing countries.’
Read more about the research and development of low-carbon technologies here: http://newsroom.unfccc.int/lpaa/innovation/lpaa-focus-on-innovation-government-and-private-sector-leaders-announce-commitments-and-partnerships-to-increase-rd-for-low-carbon-technologies/
2. 'Climate Action 2016' Partnership [[[image 3- medium right]]]
Announced by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, a multifaceted group of organizations will gather in 2016 to maintain momentum for climate protection. The UN, joined by the World Bank, the Global Environment Facility, the Compact of Mayors, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, We Mean Business and the University of Maryland will attend and co-sponsor 'Climate Action 2016'. This summit will host leaders from government, business, cities and localities, civil society and academia in Washington, D.C. and address more specific and detailed ways to implement the commitments made at COP21, especially concerning land use, resilience, energy, transport and finance.
Learn more about the summit here: http://newsroom.unfccc.int/unfccc-newsroom/un-secretary-general-announces-climate-action-2016-partnership/
1. A Five Year Vision [[[image 4- medium right]]]
Leaders of cities and regions from five continents, representing almost one-fifth of the world’s population, met on December 8 to launch a five-year vision to increase response to climate change in their areas and secure for their people a sustainable living environment in the future. The commitment is cutting-edge for a governmental yet sub-national push for climate change and focuses on practical changes within cities to decrease environmental impact and increase sustainability.
Read more about the specific steps planned by the Cities here: http://newsroom.unfccc.int/lpaa/cities-subnationals/lpaa-focus-cities-regions-across-the-world-unite-to-launch-major-five-year-vision-to-take-action-on-climate-change/
Stay up to date! Follow the commitments of COP21 as they happen here: http://newsroom.unfccc.int/?page=1
Watch COP21 live! Access webcasts here: http://unfccc6.meta-fusion.com/cop21/
It really is One Young World. See how young people are getting involved in fighting against climate change though 'Young and Future Generations Day' here: http://newsroom.unfccc.int/unfccc-newsroom/celebrating-youth-climate-action-at-cop21/
At the One Young World Summit 2015, young leaders from 196 countries recorded video messages calling on their country's leaders to deliver the agreement we need in Paris.
One Young World Counsellors including former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Unilever CEO Paul Polman and philanthropist Sir Bob Geldof also called on world leaders to commit to urgent climate action.
Watch their video here: