Adoption of the Paris Agreement: Proposal by the President Draft Decision -/CP.21

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
http://bit.ly/1Z5Mjx4
[New York Times excerpts from the climate pact]
TEMPERATURE INCREASE
“Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change.”

JAMIE GILLIS, CLIMATE SCIENCE REPORTER:
This agreement adopts a more ambitious target for limiting global warming than in the past by mentioning 1.5 degrees Celsius as part of the concrete goal to stay well below 2 degrees. If that were to be actually achieved, it would likely ward off some of the most severe effects of climate change. For example, although we don’t know the exact temperature, there is a trigger point at which the whole Greenland ice sheet and the West Antarctic ice sheet will melt. There is a chance that staying below 2 degrees Celsius would avoid that trigger point, and an even better chance if we stay below 1.5 degrees.

PRESERVATION OF FORESTS
“Parties are encouraged to take action to implement and support, including through results-based payments, the existing framework as set out in related guidance and decisions already agreed under the Convention for: policy approaches and positive incentives for activities relating to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries; and alternative policy approaches, such as joint mitigation and adaptation approaches for the integral and sustainable management of forests, while reaffirming the importance of incentivizing, as appropriate, non-carbon benefits associated with such approaches.”

JAMIE GILLIS, CLIMATE SCIENCE REPORTER:
This provision is the most significant recognition given in one of these agreements to the role forests play in offsetting human actions. It is meant as a political signal that countries should enact policies that have been developed over the last decade to save the world’s remaining intact forests. Tropical countries would likely be paid with both public and private money if they succeed in reducing or limiting destruction of their forests due to logging, or clearance for food production.

BEARING THE COST
“As part of a global effort, developed country Parties should continue to take the lead in mobilizing climate finance from a wide variety of sources, instruments and channels, noting the significant role of public funds, through a variety of actions, including supporting country-driven strategies, and taking into account the needs and priorities of developing country Parties. Such mobilization of climate finance should represent a progression beyond previous efforts.”

MELISSA EDDY, BERLIN CORRESPONDENT:
Many developing and smaller countries are disappointed that the agreement does not name a specific number – a goal of at least $100 billion a year in contributions from rich countries is mentioned only in the preamble, which is not legally binding. Developing nations maintain that even that sum would not be enough to help them build up a power system quickly or cheaply enough based on renewable energy sources rather than coal and oil

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