Archive COP21: USA and China, the biggest global warming culprits

COP21: USA and China, the biggest global warming culprits

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Jude Chukwuemeka

The 2015 Climate Conference ended on Saturday with representatives of 195 countries adopting a fresh strategy on how to conduct mitigation and adaptation measures on how to cope with the impacts of climate change.

The 21st Conference of Parties (also known as COP21) aimed to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, with a target to keep global warming below two degrees Celsius.

However, some experts have said the Paris treaty failed to mark a significant shift towards curbing climate change, that COP21 was almost a talking jamboree, except that a historic treaty was signed.

It seemed people already knew the outcome even before the delibrations began. To others, COP21 is just another fight between industrialized rich countries of the world and the poor countries of the world. Furthermore, it was felt that despite the energy and time put into the talks, the governments represented the voice of corporations far more than the citizens they govern.

However, in what seemed to be a positive step, countries at the conference, among a list of agreements, reached a consensus to set national targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions every five years.

Another positive side to COP21 is that nearly all the participating countries have already submitted targets for the first cycle of greenhouse gas emissions reduction starting in 2020, although no penalty was stipulated for countries who miss their emission targets.

However, the agreement recognizes limiting temperature rise to under I.5 degrees, a position informed by science and pushed by global civil society groups but it has been subordinated within a 2 degrees development pathway, a move some experts believe is unfair.

Along the lines, it is felt that equity and fair shares on the global carbon bank that should hold developed countries accountable has not been used to generate solutions.

And who are the culprits? All the countries of the world are guilty. However, the United States, China, and the European Union account for almost 50 percent of greenhouse gas emissions around the globe.

The 2015 climate conference attracted almost 50,000 participants including 25,000 official delegates from governments, intergovernmental organizations, UN agencies, NGOs, and civil society.

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