31 May Poor nations are waiting for a beneficial climate deal
France’s Environment Minister Segolene Royal has stated that developing countries are awaiting the offers of richer nations ahead of the Paris negotiations in December this year. Minister Royal will be playing a leading role in the UN conference given that the French Government is working on a document they are calling a “Paris Protocol” that will include a roadmap for future global climate change action. She stressed that while developing nations are positive that an agreement will be reached, they are waiting to see if their expectations will be met. The key to an agreement will be plans that provide financial assistance to the poorer nations in order to help them cut their greenhouse gas emissions, move the course of their future economic growth away from fossil fuels and to adapt their infrastructure to the potential impacts of climate change.
Minister Royal criticised commodity businesses that had taken control of the resources without taking account of the cost of climate change related to the greenhouse gases they emit. The financial sector needs to understand what is at stake as the complete costs have not been paid, and energy, transport and construction companies would have to revise their business practices in order to reduce their emissions and lead the world in their low carbon plans, policies and procedures, according to Royal.
The Paris climate talks are seen as the world’s last chance to craft a global agreement because scientists have warned that rising emissions will propel the world beyond the previously agreed limit of 2°C, the limit beyond which warming could be catastrophic and largely irreversible. To date more than 30 countries have submitted emissions reductions plans to the United Nations, with developed countries expected to make absolute emissions cuts by 2025 or 2030 that are substantially deeper than those for 2020. Poorer nations are required to curb the future growth of their emissions.
An analysis of the commitments made so far has shown them to be insufficient to meet the targets that scientists are certain to be necessary to avoid dangerous and irreversible climate change. Minister Royal was also adamant that climate change was more than just an economics issue and was in fact a matter of civilisation as we know it. People have to be persuaded to reduce their emissions and to see renewable energy as the means to do it.