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The Paris Agreement was a “bittersweet pact since climate change is still there, we have to prepare for a long-distance race,” CSIC researcher Fernando Valladares explained to EFE, in his review of the achievements and challenges of this ahead of the COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, which kicks off on October 31st.
The Paris Agreement signed at COP21 in 2015 was “hopeful” because in the first place it was established that each The country had to audit the Greenhouse Gases (GHG) that it emits, and on the other hand that the signatories committed to follow an emissions reduction schedule to the extent of their possibilities.
“Although it was possible to sign the objective of not exceeding a thermal rise of 1.5 degrees, the agreement was not binding and did not contemplate legal repercussions for countries that did not fulfill their promises,” laments Valladares.
In addition, the most polluting economy, China, “stood in profile at COP25 in Madrid, and its president may not attend the Glasgow summit”, an absence that “expresses how a priority climate change is for its leaders”.
1.5 degree agreement and necessary civil participation
Valladares highlights that “the legacy that Paris has left is a reference that everyone can understand, a temperature value that we must not exceed ”: 1.5 degrees.
The CSIC researcher warns that it may not be so obvious why a warming of more than 1.5 can be so critical, but that this threshold is a red line that “is very marked on national agendas.”
“The efforts that must be made internationally to stay at 1.5 degrees and not reach 2 are gigantic”, since a difference of half a degree implies hundreds of millions of people affected by the rise in sea level and extreme meteorological phenomena, says Valladares.
The COPs have their sights set on the medium and long term, but “citizens have to pay bills,” says Valladares, who warns that COPs are used to program a series of urgent, uncomfortable and difficult actions that involve efforts.
However, this type of meeting “does not serve to lower the electricity bill”, if not to establish plans so that all the people who live on the planet can continue living on it.
“It is not about the old pretext of the planet that our children are going to inherit, but the planet we already have, with storms like Filomena or Gloria, megafires and unprecedented floods”He says.
Valladares explains that what citizens can do is understand the severity of the climate crisis and understand that the measures to solve it will be “uncomfortable because consumption habits will have to be modified.”
“If all the signatory countries commit to consolidate the good intentions of Paris, to carry out transparent audits and make an effort to reduce emissions, it would be a success, waiting much longer is not very realistic”, Concluded Valladares.
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