7, November 2016
Talks on climate change and the implementation of the landmark Paris climate agreement have started in Morocco, amid a threatening rise in global temperatures and greenhouse gases to new heights. Negotiations over global warming and climate change kicked off in the western Moroccan city of Marrakesh on Monday, with diplomats from 196 countries across the world discussing the planet-saving deal reached in the French capital last December. As many as 15,000 negotiators, CEOs and environment activists settle in for the 12-day talks from November 7-18.
The Paris Agreement seeks to wean the world economy off fossil fuels in the second half of the century and cap the global average rise in temperatures below two degrees Celsius (36 degrees Fahrenheit). “We have made possible what everyone said was impossible,” French Environment Minister Segolene Royal said at the opening ceremony, adding that 100 countries had ratified the climate deal, which entered into force last Friday.
US election overshadowing climate meeting
The climate meeting this year is heavily impacted by the US presidential election and its outcome, as Donald Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, has said he will “cancel” the deal if he wins the election which takes place on November 8.
This is while Trump’s Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, has vowed to uphold domestic energy policies and international climate commitments already set by President Barack Obama’s government.
In the meantime, United Nations climate chief Patricia Espinosa also stressed the need for concerted effort in implementing the Paris deal.
“The agreement has entered into force and we are all obliged to deliver on those commitments,” Espinosa said. “No politician or citizen, no business manager or investor” can doubt that the world is determined to shift toward a “low-emission, resilient society,” she noted.
A report by the UN Environment Program released on Thursday said annual emissions must be kept below 42 billion tons of CO2 (carbon dioxide) by 2030 for the world to have a chance to meet the goals set out in the Paris Agreement.
Even if emission-cutting pledges under the Paris Agreement are fully implemented, the predicted 2030 emissions could put the world on track for a temperature rise of 2.9 to 3.4 degrees Celsius this century, the report said.