Humanity takes a huge step forward. Now the work begins! – A summary of the outcomes of the Paris Climate Summit

The agreement reached in Paris depends on political will, with countries setting their own climate action plans. So this is not a time to be complacent. If the decisions are to be implemented, the world will need to pick up the pace of change dramatically, and Australia will have to change quite markedly from the course it is on.

Humanity takes a huge step forward. Now the work begins!

The United Nations talks in Paris are over and governments from around the world have committed for the first time to a universal agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions and to avoid the most dangerous effects of climate change.

20 years of meetings have resulted in negotiators from nearly 200 countries signing on to a deal that set ambitious goals to limit temperature rise and hold governments to account for reaching those targets.

Six years after the chaotic collapse of the Copenhagen climate summit, the agreement now known as the Paris Outcome for the first time commits rich countries, rising economies and some of the poorest countries to work together to fight climate change.

Under the deal, adopted by consensus, all countries agreed to reduce emissions. Government and business leaders said the agreement, which set a new goal to reach net zero emissions in the second half of the century, sent a powerful signal to global markets, hastening the transition away from fossil fuels and to a clean energy economy.

Wealthy countries agreed to raise $100bn (£66bn, A$1.38bn) per year by 2020 to help poor countries transform their economies. The overall agreement is legally binding, but some elements are not. The latter include the pledges to curb emissions by individual countries and the climate finance elements.

The agreement reached in Paris depends on political will, with countries setting their own climate action plans. So this is not a time to be complacent or possibly even optimistic. The world will need to pick up the pace of change dramatically, as Bill McKibben so aptly describes in his article in The Guardian, “Climate deal: The pistol has fired, so why aren’t we running?”…

Continue reading the article here: Humanity takes a huge step forward. Now the work begins! – ARRCC

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