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Preparatory agenda review for COP21

Trade Briefs

Preparatory agenda review for COP21

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This Trade Brief reviews actions taken by Parties to the Conference of Parties 21 (COP21) or 2015 Paris Climate Conference to be held in Paris from 30 November to 11 December, 2015. These actions are in anticipation of achieving a legally binding and universal agreement on climate change with the primary aim to limit global warming to below 2ºC. This Brief will highlight key positions being articulated by key players as well as including those of a small selection of African countries.

A key issue to consider is what form the climate agreement will take. The United States has already said that it will not sign a legally binding agreement as the chance of it being passed through a Republican dominated Senate is slim. Rather, an agreement with broad and full participation is sought. However, this is in stark contrast to the European Union (EU) and some developing countries which seek a legally binding agreement.

Another issue at stake is what the actual long-term goal of the agreement should be. The current debate is around keeping global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial level. Some countries reject this level and argue that 1.5 degrees Celsius should be the standard. Other countries are also calling for the decarbonising of the world by the middle or the end of this century. Whatever the final agreement is it is abundantly clear that there are a variety of opinions, issues and national circumstances that need to be considered during the negotiations.

In the run up to COP21 Member Parties were asked to submit Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) to the Secretariat which will outline the individual Parties’ plans, processes and commitments to combating climate change.

Readers are encouraged to quote and reproduce this material for educational, non-profit purposes, provided the source is acknowledged. All views and opinions expressed remain solely those of the authors and do not purport to reflect the views of tralac.


Preparatory agenda review for COP21 - Author(s): Gavin van der Nest

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