By Allanah Leahy – EM TV World News
Opinions are mixed, following the sealing of the Paris agreement, which concluded the UN’s climate change conference, known as “COP21” this year.
The deal was sealed over the weekend, and its goals have please some, but raised criticisms from many others.
The Pacific were an important voice at this year’s climate change conference, amplifying their climate challenges and needs on the world stage. Leaders were reminded continuously of their responsibility in lowering carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases, through better-organised funding and restrictions, as well as other factors.
German chancellor, Angela Merkel, was pleased at the agreement, echoing President Obama, who believes it may be a ‘turning point for the world’.
“I am glad that the climate talks in Paris came to a close so successfully. It really sets the course for the world towards an energy transition and towards reason regarding climate change. It secures and gives a chance for billions of people who do not need to be scared for their future if the commitments are really kept to. There are reasonable mechanisms for validation and so Paris has been a real success,” said the German Chancellor.
During the first 9 months of this year, global temperatures averaged 1.02 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial levels in the 1800s.
The final international agreement features the ambitious objective of restraining rising temperatures “well below” 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
Scientists have warned of a disastrous outcome, should global temperatures exceed 2 degrees.
As part of the agreement, rich nations are to continue their yearly funding of $100 billion – nearly K300 billion – towards developing nations to help them move towards renewable energy sources.
Australian Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, said the agreement provides much-needed accountability for nations.
“Australia prides itself on saying what it’s going to do and then achieving it, not all countries have been in that position but now they have committed to a level of accountability and transparency that gives us comfort that we know what our major trading partners are doing, the major economies are doing, our major trading competitors are doing,” she said.
Critics such as UK-based NGO, Global Justice Now, have argued that the agreement is not aggressive enough in protecting human rights, as well as emissions reductions and legal accountability for loss and damages.