Paris agreement: why countries are not at the height of their commitments

"We stand for a Europe copy for the climate. France opposes the launch of a trade negotiation with the United States that take place outside of the Paris agree

Paris agreement: why countries are not at the height of their commitments

"We stand for a Europe copy for the climate. France opposes the launch of a trade negotiation with the United States that take place outside of the Paris agreement", declared last week the head of the French State. In 2017, the administration Trump, who continues to reduce its environmental regulations, undertook to withdraw from the agreement of Paris, while its official release should not intervene in concrete terms that the end of 2020. At the european elections approach, Emmanuel Macron therefore attempts to position itself as a leader on climate issues in the world.

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with the signing of the Paris agreement, adopted at the paris air show at the end of the COP21 in 2015, 197 countries have committed to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to limit the global warming to 2°C, even the 1.5 compared to pre-industrial levels by the end of the Twenty-first century. However, in recent years the global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) have grown steadily to reach 37.1 billion tons in 2018. An increase of 2.7% year on year. Many reports conclude that there is a gap between policies in the current climate of the country and the opportunity to contain global warming below 2°C. Four years after the signing of the agreement, Le Figaro is the point on the evolution of national contributions, specific to each country.

The current commitments of the States to be insufficient to respond to the climate emergency

in Order to contain global warming below 2°C by 2100, global emissions of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions should, in theory, reach their maximum around 2020 and then decrease to about 50% by 2045, falling to zero around 2075. But according to the latest report of the united Nations environment program (PNU), even if every signatory country was in compliance with its own national Contribution to the fight against global warming (NDC), that is to say, their existing commitments, the average global warming would be rather between 2.7°C and 3.2°C.

"It would require that GHG emissions are halved between 2020 and 2030 to reach the goal of 1.5°C, and 20% to reach the 2°C"

Jean Jouzel, climatologist and glaciologist

Jean Jouzel, climatologist and glaciologist French, accurate to Figaro that "in order to succeed in limiting global warming, it should be that GHG emissions are halved between 2020 and 2030 to reach the goal of 1.5°C, and 20% to reach the 2°C". What that would mean in addition, according to the UNEP, a five-fold increase of the commitments of emission reduction at the global level in order to not go beyond 1.5°C and a tripling of the efforts of the countries for not to exceed 2°C of warming. "Even if all the other countries drop substantially their GHG emissions, but that China will not be cleanse not coal, it is difficult to conceive how the objectives of the Paris agreements will be respected," props Jean Jouzel. Last year, with 9839 megatonnes of CO2 emitted, China has accumulated more than a quarter of global emissions, and nearly two-thirds of its emissions remain linked to its heavy dependence on coal.

negotiations have been delayed

The countries signatories of the Paris agreement have the sole obligation to communicate annually to the united Nations of their direct emissions, excluding imports and exports of GHG. Like other EU countries, France will pass by the intermediary of the european Commission to transmit its data to the international organization. Among the 197 signatories, only 58 countries have adopted national measures to limit their CO2 emissions in 2030 and only 16 have engaged in policies to be sufficient in relation to their commitments to the climate, according to a study published at the end of 2018 by the think tank u.s. World Resources Institute. Canada, Japan, Indonesia, Costa Rica, Malaysia and Peru are among the countries that have undertaken actions consistent with their commitments. In Europe, only Norway, Montenegro and Macedonia have initiated climate policies, is deemed to be sufficient. At the global level, the transport sector remains for four years, the most polluting, with an increase in applications in diesel and kerosene, which overlooks the slightly lower fuel consumption.

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Hervé Lefebvre, head of the department for Climate, environment Agency and energy management (Ademe), explains that the signatory countries of the Paris agreement are passed to a logic of starting based on what "should be done" to a current logic based on "what countries are in fact willing to do." Since a few years, and especially at the end of the COP24 in Katowice in Poland last year, the PNU finds that while most countries show commitment in the fight against climate change, the vast majority turns out to be not up to it.

"The negotiations have been delayed because of the differences between the countries of the north and the south"

Hervé Lefebvre, head of the service Climate of the Ademe

At a global level, "the negotiations have been delayed, in particular, because of the differences existing between the countries of the North and those of the South." While the countries that are signatories to the agreement were the basis for a proportional reduction in emissions of GHG, the countries of the South have asked not to have to abide by this principle in order to be able to develop economically. These have finally been granted greater flexibility in their commitments. In fact, the goal for the next COP25, which will be held in Chile, will be to define a collective strategy so that the country can catch-up. The goal now being that the sum of the national contributions respects the prerogative of 2°C.

The european Union divided the face of the climate challenge

On the Old Continent, if the GHG emissions have fallen by 23.6% since 1990, the gap between the projected emissions in 2030 and the emissions consistent with the commitments of Paris remains important. The objective of the countries of the EU to reduce GHG emissions by 40% by 2030 seems to be difficult to attain. Faced with this prospect of failure, the european Commission asks from the end of the year 2018, the adoption of a common strategic vision in the long term, based also on a goal of carbon neutrality by 2050. Sinceis a line of divide on the issue emerged between the european leaders of the East and the West. While a dozen countries, including France, the netherlands, Spain and Sweden require a clear indication of the objective at european level, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic opposed it strongly, and even Germany shows reluctance. In fact, the climate policy of the Union remains in a stalemate since any decision must be unanimous.

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The United Kingdom and France are the only developed economies that have created a body to check the extent to which the country meets its commitments. According to the Observatory Climate and Energy, which follows the trends in terms of emissions by sector for each year in france, France does not, for its part, its goals of reducing carbon emissions in the sectors of transport and buildings.

"The number of energy retrofits in the park French real-estate in existence has not reached the level hoped"

Hervé Lefebvre, head of the service Climate of the Ademe

on the one hand, "the number of energy retrofits of the existing housing stock has not reached the level hoped for", details Hervé Lefebvre, Ademe, who adds that the households do not invest enough in the reduction of energy consumption ; on the other hand, at the transport level, "the French market with its new fleet is increased by the SUV, which are the heavier vehicles, and therefore more consumers."

The younger generations will have to reduce up to eight times their carbon footprint

Thus, in response to the climate emergency, several trajectories are drawn. One side of the scenario, where many countries are pushing the deadline and ensure that they will make more effort later. On the other hand, the countries that have not committed to climate policy, like the United States, which mostly rely on the advanced technological processes to achieve capture CO2 at an affordable cost.

"The Americans are betting that tomorrow we will be able, through technology, to capture the CO2 in the air, to store it and then reuse it, or injecting it under the earth"

Hervé Lefebvre, head of the service Climate of the Ademe

But in order that the world can keep global warming between 1.5° and 2°C, the younger generations will have to bear the burden left by their elders and be content with budgets of carbon during their lifetime, are much lower than those of previous generations. Currently, a U.s. emits an average of 15.6 tonnes of CO2 per year, which is two times more than a Chinese (7.5) and a European (6,8)

According to an analysis by the English website Carbon Brief, children born in the years of 2020 "will need to make three to eight times less CO2 on a global scale" in order to comply with the Paris agreement. Thus, for example, a French born in 2017 would have a carbon budget of 170 tons of CO2, or about one-third of that of an individual born in 1950 (589 tons).

SEE ALSO: Climate: should we feel guilty?

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Date Of Update: 22 Nisan 2019, 00:00

Kathleen Lees


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