Reinvigorating the Paris Agreement


December 12th 2015 marked the start of a worldwide combat against climate change – the signing of the Paris Agreement. There is today a total of 169 nations around the globe that have agreed to take steps toward minimizing their carbon emissions. The Agreement aims to set a limit to global warming keeping the rise of global temperature at a maximum of 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and attempts at keeping it below 1.5 degrees Celcius over the next century. This pledge also aims to keep countries accountable for their climate action and it was also signed with the purpose to help countries that are facing climate impacts deal with these and recover from them to foster a better future for the planet we share.

Tomorrow, exactly one year after the entry into force of the Paris Agreement, there will be the launch of the Bonn (Germany) Conference that lasts until November 17th. Here, nations will be encouraged to display their aspirations for climate action and dedication toward the promises they have made over the past year. The Bonn Conference, informally known as COP 23, is hoped to encourage all nations to step up to the plate by creating a rule book to operationalize the Paris Agreement.  Patricia Espinosa, the Executive Secretary of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, stated that “While Paris represented one of those moments where the best of humanity achieved an agreement so important to our collective futures, Bonn represents how we will move forward to fulfill its promise”.

According to the UN Environment Programme’s 8th edition of the Emissions Gap Report launched on October 31st 2017, even if the countries that signed the Agreement implement their national pledges it will still be extremely likely that the global temperature will rise to 3 degrees Celsius by 2100, an entire degree higher than the two originally forecasted. It is abundantly clear that there is a dire need for this Conference, but only time will tell if its’ impacts will be sufficient enough to push all those involved in the Paris Agreement to fulfill their promises, and then some.

This blog post was written by a CCLA-PBSC RightsWatch student. Views expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCLA or PBSC.