Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Climate: With Or Without The United States, The World Faces The Challenge Of Implementing The Paris Agreement

The US decision should take place at the latest on the occasion of the G7 at the end of May in Italy.
If Washington is still procrastinating, for others this Paris agreement is vital: "This international agreement is the last hope for survival for the small island states," said Thoriq Ibrahim, Maldives's Minister of the Environment. Eve of the resumption of talks on Monday.

The international community undertook in December 2015 in Paris to take action to limit the rise in average temperature "well below + 2 ° C", a threshold already synonymous with large-scale upheavals, and "if possible at +1, 5 ° C "compared to the industrial era.
'We have a problem'
Current commitments would lead to a 3 ° C increase in the global thermometer.
Countries must now agree on the rules for the implementation of this Paris Agreement, which are very general in nature, and they have until COP24 (end of 2018) to do so, with the Bonn session taking End May 18th.
Meanwhile, speculation about the exit or the maintenance of the United States is going well in the corridors of the International Congress Center of Bonn. "We are all waiting for the final decision of the US administration," said Yvon Slingenberg, representative of the European Union.
Even before being positioned on the agreement, Trump, a great defender of fossil fuels, has in any case begun to dismantle the climate policy of his predecessor Barack Obama.
Hence the concern of some observers present in Bonn regarding the future attitude of the United States, even if they remain in the Paris agreement.
"If the United States remains in the agreement but send other countries the signal that they can reduce their level of ambition, then we have a problem," said Brandon Wu of Action Aid.
A small US delegation is present in Bonn, led by Trigg Talley, who was already stationed under the Obama administration. But its mandate is not known.
A source at the State Department told AFP that the United States wanted to "ensure that decisions do not harm" their policies, the competitiveness of their enterprises and more generally their economic growth.

144 countries have ratified

Any idea of renegotiation of the text, the fruit of several years of hard discussions, was firmly rejected on Monday afternoon during the speeches of the countries in plenary session.
Moroccan Foreign Minister Salaheddine Mezouar said that it would be "difficult" and even "insane" for Donald Trump "to go against the" public opinion "of his country" and Will of the international community ".
With the exception of Syria and Nicaragua, all members of the UN climate convention have signed the Paris agreement. Of the 195 signatories (194 countries plus the European Union), 144 have already ratified it, representing 83% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
Among the major emitters, only Russia (5th after China, the United States, the European Union and India) has not yet ratified the text.
If the US and Russia governments are behind in this climate fight, China and India have reaffirmed their commitments.
"China is under strong domestic pressure to reduce air pollution from coal and fossil fuels and sees a strategic interest in being a market leader in new technologies," said Alden Meyer, Union of concerned scientists.
"Delhi also sees enormous benefits in its renewable energy development goals" in terms of air quality and reduced oil imports, "he adds.

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