You must have heard about the Paris agreement either by chance or by choice, and maybe like me you have thought of it as a complex idea that only world leaders needed to bother about it. Well, it will surprise you to know it is quite a simple concept. Unlike me, you don’t have to read the over 30 page document, but since I have, I’ll break it down here.
Last year, at the 21st conference of the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), representatives of 195 countries met to discuss climate change.
It must have been exciting to have people from 195 countries in one room right? Yeah, I thought so too.
Here are a few things worth knowing about the agreement:
– The aim is to ensure:
1) The increase in global temperature does not exceed 2 degrees from preindustrial level. In fact, efforts should be made to keep the temperature increase well below 2 degrees.
2) That we find ways to increase our ability adapt to the negative effects of climate change in a way that does not threaten food production.
3) That finance flows are consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emission.
– As at the 22nd April 2016, 174 Countries and the European Union signed the agreement. Nigeria did not sign the agreement
The Paris agreement is not a law, neither can it be enforced. It is only a commitment. Let’s look at it like this:
The United Nations (being the head of the family, let’s refer to her as a ‘she’) called all the countries (her kids) to warn them about how dirty and unsafe the garden has become since they started digging and burning this a valuable substance (the use of fossil fuels basically). Their action has released very high amounts of a dangerous gas called ‘Carbon’ and to continue to live safely in this garden, we need to control and manage carbon emission.
Go back to your rooms she said, and come up with contributions (Nationally determined contributions) that will ensure we clean up the garden and control the carbon in our garden. We shall meet and sign each person’s contribution on the world earth day.
The United Nations also said, we shall meet every five years to evaluate our progress in cleaning the garden and only ‘name and shame’ those who do not comply to their contributions. The first evaluation will take place in 2023.
What are your thoughts? I bet the idea isn’t a complicated one right?
Do you think there could be valid justifications for not signing?
Do you think carbon emission can be control by simple commitments and not laws?
Do you think a world where fossil fuel is kept in the ground is practical?
I’ll share my thoughts on Nigeria not signing in my next post.
Be green, be responsible.
Do you now have a plant on your desk?