Everything You Need To Know About COP21 – 2015 Paris Climate Conference

Bharat Nayak

December 4th, 2015

Image Source: BBC

At this time when Chennai is deluged by the heavy rains, most important talks on climate change is taking place in Paris where 130 world leaders are attending a meeting which will guide the Planet’s future. The event is dated from 30th November 2015 to 11th December 2015.

What Paris Talks Is About?

  • The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP 21 or CMP 11 is being held in Le Bourget, France. It will be 21st yearly session of the conference of the parties since the global treaty was signed in 1992.
  • Objective of the conference is to achieve a binding and universal agreement on climate, from all the nations of the world.
  • Representatives from 195 countries are meeting to change the path which has led us to the brink of a man-made disaster and if action is not taken immediately, then we will be on a path towards irreversible damage. The objective of the talks is to stabilize greenhouse gases and to come to a consensus on how to use fossil fuels.
  • Scientists have warned that if the temperature of the earth rises more than 2 degrees Celsius that would spark devastating changes.

Why We Should Care?

Earth’s temperature is rising every year. Till now we have been using fossil fuels without thinking about the adverse effect on the planet, which has led to a situation where:

  • Sea level rise is accelerating
  • Hurricanes and floods are becoming frequent
  • Glaciers are melting.
  • Ozone layer is depleting.
  • Crop failure is becoming very frequent.

True, all of these issues effect very few today but in few years they will affect majority of us.

Why This Conference Is Different And Most Important Than All The Conferences?

Few meetings actually have the potential to affect everyone on the planet. This one does. Cutting carbon emissions and reducing the use of fossil fuels will affect how world produces food, the rate to alleviate people out of poverty and in bringing electricity to billions of people. At the same time, it is important because Earth cannot afford more greenhouse gases.

Each year since 1995, this conference is being held but the world leaders have failed to reach to any conclusion on how to reduce greenhouse gases emissions. In 2005, the first treaty named Kyoto Protocol, which was established in 1997, was consented by most nations except the USA.

Why India’s Role Is Most Crucial In Paris Talks?

India holds the key of where these talks will go. The Top Polluter the USA, China and India are expected to voluntarily cut the emissions. India is one of the countries, which is most vulnerable to climate change but at the same time, it has to alleviate it poor people out of poverty and make electricity available to hundreds of millions of Indians, who have been living in dark since ages.

India has pledged to invest $100 billion in clean energy investments over the next five years as well as to source 40 percent of its electricity from renewable and other low-carbon sources by 2030.

Coal, one of the worst pollutants, holds the key of economic growth for the developing nation and India doesn’t want the world to force it to abandon fossil fuel completely.

In the Paris climate talks, Indian Prime Minister demanded that the rich countries take the lead in cutting emissions and leading the developing nations. He said, “We hope advanced nations will assume ambitious targets and pursue them sincerely. It is not just a question of historical responsibility. They also have the most room to make the cuts and make the strongest impact”.

There needs to be a balancing act between boosting economic growth and reaching environmental goals that poses the greatest political challenge to leaders of developing nations such as India – which is already the world’s fourth-largest emitter of carbon dioxide after China, the US and the EU.

 

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