Qu’avez-vous fait lors de votre séjour à Paris pour la COP 21 ?
J’ai participé à la COP 21 à Paris du 05 au 09 décembre 2015. En parallèle de la conférence internationale de L’ONU, il y avait les Espaces Générations Climat à Paris Le Bourget, et l’exposition « Solutions COP21 » au Grand Palais et au Stade de France.
J’étais dans Les Espaces Générations Climat, un lieu ou se déroulaient les débats et autres évènements de la société civile. Ces espaces permettent aux acteurs (chercheurs, jeunes, ONG, populations autochtones, les institutions..) de présenter des projets, solutions, travaux et initiatives contre le dérèglement climatique.
J’y ai présenté mon projet politique dans le domaine de l’agriculture intelligente face aux changements climatiques.
Qu’est-ce qui vous a le plus marqué ?
Les gens venant des quatre coins du monde, les différentes plateformes présentes, les discussions de haut niveau, les innovations et le nombre de documents ayant attrait au changement climatique.
En tant que représentant de la société civile, quelle est votre appréciation de la COP 21 ?
J’ai beaucoup apprécié et appris, notamment sur la nécessité qu’a chaque pays de comptabiliser ses émissions de gaz à effet de serre (GES) et de publier ses résultats auprès des Nations-Unies. Je note qu’il y a eu une succession de bonnes intentions et un focus sur les états du Sud y compris l’île Maurice.
Nous avons pu échanger nos idées et nos bonnes pratiques pendant les débats et les expositions. J’ai particulièrement apprécié les petites manifestations pour rappeler aux décideurs l’importance des décisions qu’ils doivent prendre.
Source: Ambassade de France, 16 Dec 2015
COP21-For a Universal Climate Agreement
From November 30 to December 11 in Paris, France welcome the COP 21, the 21st Conference of parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The COP21 is the largest diplomatic event ever organized in France. It brought together 196 signatories and welcome more than 40,000 people at the COP21 site in Paris-Le Bourget.
There were more than 150 Head of states. In parallel to the UN International Conference which was attended by Head of States, Ministers, Permanent Secretaries, Head of Private Sector, and high level delegates, there were side events held simultaneously for instance ‘Espaces Generations Climat’ at Paris Le Bourget, ‘Solutions COP21’ at the ‘Grand Palais’ and ‘Stade de France’. The Mauritian delegation was led by Her Excellency, Mrs Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, GCSK, CSK, President of the Republic of Mauritius, the Honourable Raj Dayal, CSK, Minister of Environment, Sustainable Development, and Disaster and Beach Management, Honourable Jean Francisco Francois, PPS, Prime Minister’s Office, His excellency Mr Joel Rault, Ambassador, Mauritius Embassy, Paris, Mr O. Jadoo, Permanent Secretary, MOESDDBM, Mr J. Seewoobaduth, Divisional Environment Officer, MOESDDBM, and Mrs M. Helene Echevin, President of MCCI. Very good and bright initiatives were taken on issue of SIDS and Mauritius by the Honorable Raj Dayal, Minister of Environment, Sustainable Development, and Disaster and Beach Management.
As delegate of Mauritius for the side event, I participated in the Climate Generations Areas (Espaces Generations Climat) from the 05 to 09 December 2015 which encouraged debate on solutions to climate change. I had the opportunity to share my policy paper on Climate Smart Agriculture on the CSA platform and could participate well in the Espaces Generations Climat which was next to the UN convention at Le Bourget.
What is a COP?
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was adopted during the Rio de Janeiro World Summit in 1996. This Framework Convention is a universal convention that recognizes the existence of human-cause climate change and gives industrialized countries the primary responsibility to fight against this phenomenon.
The international political response to climate change began at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, where the ‘Rio Convention’ included the adoption of the UN Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This convention set out a framework for action aimed at stabilising atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHGs) to avoid “dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.” The UNFCCC which entered into force on 21 March 1994, now has a near-universal membership of 195 parties. The main objective of the annual Conference of Parties (COP) is to review the Convention’s implementation. The first COP took place in Berlin in 1995 and significant meetings since then have included COP3 where the Kyoto Protocol was adopted, COP11 where the Montreal Action Plan was produced, COP15 in Copenhagen where an agreement to success Kyoto Protocol was unfortunately not realised and COP17 in Durban where the Green Climate Fund was created.
The Conference of Parties (COP), composed of all “party” states, constitutes the supreme organ of the Convention. It meets every year during global conferences where decisions are taken to respect the objectives of fighting against climate change.
The COP that took place in Paris was the 21st of the UNFCCC. The diverse countries were represented by delegations of negotiators, ministers, experts from several ministries, scientists, observers, as well as NGOs and representatives of civil society. In 2015 the COP21, also known as the 2015 Paris Climate Conference has for the first time in over 20 years of UN negotiations, aimed to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2°C.
What happened during COP21?
COPs in general last two weeks, even if they can sometimes be prolonged one or several days. COP21 lasted for 13 days. Lots of negotiations played out at the end of the COP during long nights of debates between different parties. The days were scheduled with different negotiation sessions. Meetings were also organized with the civil society and negotiators took part in these side events – themed conferences that took place outside of the formal negotiations that were designed to help clarify subjects on particular themes.
What were the objectives of France for the COP21?
Greenhouse gasses have long been emitted principally by developed countries, but countries with developing economies have now passed them as emitters. In order for the climate goals to reflect this new international context, the Durban climate conference in 2011 set a clear mandate for the 196 UNFCCC parties: In 2015, reach a new climate agreement that applies to all countries that will take effect in 2020. To guarantee the universality of the agreement, each state needed to submit a “contribution” to the agreement this year.
The objective of the COP21 was to define a framework of action that allows for keeping average global warming below 1.5° or 2° C, to adapt society to climate disruptions and to prioritize low-carbon development with the participation of all parties.
What was the aim of the new agreement in Paris?
The Paris Agreement aimed to help the world move towards a low-carbon, climate-resilient future. This means reducing emissions quickly enough to keep global average temperature rise below 2°C and countries adapting to the impacts of the climate change that cannot be avoided. Keeping the average global surface temperature increase below 2°C above pre-industrial levels is an internationally agreed yardstick for avoiding dangerous climate change.
The Paris Agreement should send the signal of the commitment of all governments to engage in the transition, thus giving predictability to the public, businesses, and investors. Some governments lack the financial, administrative, or technological capacity to reduce emissions and to adapt to climate change impacts. The agreement must provide the framework to help them attract public and private financing and other forms of support.
What are the key elements of a successful agreement in Paris?
The ultimate objective is to keep dangerous climate change in check. For the EU, the new agreement must send a clear signal of governments' resolve to reduce emissions sufficiently to keep global average temperature increase below the agreed 2°C limit by the end of the century. The EU's vision of a credible agreement includes:
1. A global vision for a long term goal – a signal for broader audiences, businesses and investors of governments' resolve to transition to low-carbon economies.
2. A mechanism to regularly review and raise the collective ambition – countries should come together to consider and strengthen emissions reduction targets in light of the latest science and progress made to date.
3. Robust transparency and accountability rules. Parties and other stakeholders need to be able to trust that what is promised will be delivered and that reductions achieved are accounted for consistently.
4. Beyond emissions reductions, the Paris Agreement must also help countries, especially those most vulnerable, adapt to climate change impacts.
How efforts were shared between countries?
The Paris Agreement for the first time required all countries to take specific measures to reduce emissions over time, according to their national circumstances. This year, countries have been announcing their greenhouse gas emissions reductions targets for after 2020 – known as intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs).
More than 170 countries, covering more than 95% of global emissions have submitted INDCs. This is already a considerable achievement and clear evidence of the shared political will across governments for Paris to take decisive action on climate change. It marks the move away from action by few to action by all.
However, while the INDCs achieve a marked slowdown in emissions growth, they are not enough by themselves to keep the earth safe from catastrophic climate events in the future. Current pledges, when implemented, would mean a temperature increase of around 3°C. This is one of the reasons why there is a need for a process for reviewing and strengthening ambition.
Outcome of COP21
195 countries have adopted the historic deal to keep global warming below 1.5 ºC and signal the end of fossil fuels. The agreement acknowledged that 100 billion USD will need to be raised each year from 2020 to finance projects that enable countries to adapt to the impacts of climate change or reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Paris agreement also asked all countries to review their contributions every five years from 2020.