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Paris Treaty limits global warming to `far lower than` 2 degrees Celsius

Paris Treaty limits global warming to `far lower than` 2 degrees Celsius

Posted December. 14, 2015 08:48,   


The COP21 U.N. climate talks came to an end after adopting the "Paris Treaty," an agreement on a new climate framework. The goal of the agreement is to restrict average global warming to far lower than 2 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial temperatures, and to make effort to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius. As average global temperature is currently 1 degree higher than the pre-industrial level, the new goal means that the world will limit global warning to 0.5 to 1 degree Celsius in the coming years. Then is 0.5 to 1 degree significant enough to justify the rhetoric: "the end of fossil fuels"?

To human beings who experience daily temperature variations of more than 10 degrees Celsius in the morning and evening, 1 degree is nothing. This is not the case for the earth. If the average global temperature rises 1 degree Celsius, glaciers will melt and the earth will experience more frequent floods and droughts. If the temperature rises 2 degrees Celsius, the world almost turns into a hell. Moderate climate areas will turn into desert, seas will become acidic, and island countries such as the Maldives will submerge. The reason that the target of "1.5 degrees Celsius" has been included was due to constant persuasion by island nations that are facing the risk of submerging.

The clearest difference between the new climate framework and the Kyoto Protocol is that developing countries will also be obliged to cut greenhouse gas emissions under the new regime. Change in stances of China and India played a major role. Their weakness of being countries that rank first and third, respectively, in greenhouse gas emission, influenced the decision, but both countries also are suffering massive damage due to abnormal weather conditions. Developing countries are not bound by their obligations to meet reduction targets, but reports that will be submitted every five years will pose heavy burden on them.

Contributors to the agreement reportedly include U.S. President Barack Obama, French President Francois Hollande, and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Despite repeated signals to end his speech by the organizers, Obama stressed the need for a new climate framework for 14 minutes, which far exceeded the three minutes each that was allocated to heads of state at the conference. Hollande displayed strong commitment by pushing ahead with the meeting despite terror attacks in Paris. To UN Secretary-General Ban, who does not have major achievement during his terms in office, the agreement is a "giant homer" that has offset his sluggish performance thus far. Some even raise the possibility that Ban may win the Nobel Prize in peace for his efforts to arbitrate the deal behind the scene. They would naturally wish to celebrate the feat, “enjoying a glass of mojito in the Maldives.”