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COP 21, and after?

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The next COP 22 in Marrakech in December will be forced to continue the spectacular momentum of the Paris Agreements, trying to start translating into concrete actions the commitments approved by the 195 States.

What does the text of the COP 21 agreement say?

The text of COP 21 is the result of two weeks of laborious discussions which ended on December 15, 2015 with the “Paris Agreement”. Approved by all 195 delegations (but not yet signed and ratified), the text is 39 pages thick, 17 of which are legally binding. One of the major decisions and certainly the most symbolic concerns the desired limit of global warming.

According to article 2, “ the rise in the average temperature of the planet [must be] well below 2 ° C compared to pre-industrial levels and by continuing the action taken to limit the rise in temperatures to 1, 5 ° C compared to pre-industrial levels ”. A goal of limiting to 1.5 ° certainly courageous, and also particularly ambitious.

The other flagship decision of the Paris Agreement concerns the aid given to emerging countries and / or already affected by the consequences of global warming by rich countries, which for many have based their success on a very polluting industry. " Support, particularly financial, is provided to developing countries ", thus stipulates Article 10. If the sum of 100 billion dollars per year promised in 2009 does not appear in the binding part of the text (to override the hostility of the US Senate), it remains mentioned in the first decision part. These commitments and, in general, the entire text of the agreement, are subject to review every five years.

COP 22 in Marrakech: translating COP 21 into facts

If the Paris Agreement is undoubtedly a symbolic success and a tour de force of international diplomacy, many fundamental criticisms have not failed to surface as soon as the results are published. The main one concerns the famous objective of 2 or even 1.5 ° of warming. By specialists' own admission, the 1.5 ° mark in the long term would be de facto impossible to maintain. The current warming achieved since the Industrial Revolution is already 1 °; moreover, this same heating has an inertia potential of at least 0.6 °.

In short, even if Humanity immediately ceased all greenhouse gas emissions, the planet would continue to warm up for a few years by at least 0.6 °, necessarily exceeding the 1.5 ° expected. The objective of 2 ° therefore remains at least implausible, on the condition, however, of immediately initiating enormous efforts (and without taking into account the serious hypothesis of a natural warming of the planet), but here again, the entry into force of the Paris Agreement is not expected until 2020.

The task promises to be complex for the next COP 22, which will take place from 7 to 18 November 2016 in Marrakech. According to the Deputy Minister in charge of the Environment, Ms. Hakima El Haité, it will be a question of riding the wind of daring of COP 21, with the ambition to start translating it into concrete acts: COP 22 will be " innovation in terms of adaptation and mitigation to the effects of climate change ”, and“ the opportunity to develop operational tools ”. This new international conference will therefore have as its themes, again according to the Minister Delegate, " mitigation of the effects of climate change and innovation in terms of adaptation ".

The choice of Morocco as the organizer of COP 22 is also not insignificant. The kingdom is one of the best students in terms of sustainable development, in particular thanks to its spectacular “green energy” development program, which should make it possible by 2030 to cover half of its electricity needs.

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