Global warming is a global problem that must be solved at that same level
The consequences of climate change are global and extend to all regions of the world, which shows that it is a problem that must be addressed and analysed from a global perspective, taking account of all countries' interests and needs.
The world must advance together towards a low carbon economy. However, when deciding how to distribute the burden of the changes, it is necessary to consider each country's level of development and its contribution to the problem in the past. This was the approach adopted in the Kyoto Protocol, but it was poorly balanced.
Under the approach crystallised in COP21, it is clear that responsibility for global warming may be different, but it is shared, just like its effects. Some key outcomes of COP21 in Paris:
- The Agreement, signed by 195 countries, eliminated the old distinction between industrialised and emerging countries.
- All signatory countries have pledged to approve their own national plans for reducing emissions (Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, or INDCs). Once each country has established its voluntary objective, compliance will be subject to international verification.
- Using the same methodology for all countries, the degree of compliance with the INDCs will be measured every 5 years, as will their adequacy for achieving the established global target.
- A "Green Climate Fund" will be established with a minimum of 100 billion dollars to help developing countries implement climate change mitigation and adaptation programmes.
Though we cannot rest on our laurels, at least we have a framework for action that enables us to look to the future with the prospect of changes in our economic model that will help us remain within the maximum 2 ºC of warming worldwide by the end of the 21st century.
Guest post written by Carmen Becerril Martínez, External Director from ACCIONA, and Magdalena García Mora, Manager of Analysis of Energy policies and Climate Change from ACCIONA.