After historic negotiations held by the Conference of Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change held in Paris, all 196 countries in the world have agreed to the first climate deal that commits all countries to cutting emissions of greenhouse gasses that contribute to global warming.
BBC World News reports that the COP 2015 agreement calls for all countries:
• To peak greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible and achieve a balance between sources and sinks of greenhouse gases in the second half of this century
• To keep global temperature increase “well below” 2C (3.6F) and to pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5C
• To review progress every five years
• $100 billion a year in climate finance for developing countries by 2020, with a commitment to further finance in the future.
The whole world just got a clue about climate change! This global agreement, part voluntary, part legally-binding, could be a lot stronger, but it does give us hope for the future. Climate activists in Paris used their creativity to show that there are red lines that must not be crossed, that only a 1.5 degrees Celsius limit offers a chance of saving many coastal lands and island nations, and that wealthy countries must aid the most vulnerable.
Though much more remains to be done, our shared climate crisis is a planetary opportunity for humanity to work together towards a vision of an equitable, peaceful, and sustainable world. People with a clue would stop global warming and global warring, right? Research shows it is possible to go 100 percent renewable energy without wrecking the economy. What innovations we would see! We can do this.
Our choices create our spirit. It’s up to us.