COP21 UN climate agreement a `turning point in the human enterprise`

Last Updated: Sun, Dec 13, 2015 10:46 hrs

Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Professor Hans Joachim Schellnhuber stated on the outcome of COP21 World Climate Summit that a historical climate agreement that finally transcends national egotisms has been agreed upon.

COP21 targets at limiting global warming to well below 2 degrees and aiming at 1.5 degrees is more ambitious than expected, yet fully in line with the scientific risk assessment.

If sincerely operationalized, the Paris Agreement will induce the decarbonisation of the world economy by the middle of this century. The current emissions reduction pledges (INDCs) of most countries, however, are insufficient and have to be adapted to the new level of ambition in the next few years. Still, this is a turning point in the human enterprise where the great transformation towards sustainability begins said the Volvo Environment Prize winner professor.

Critically analysing the agreement, the 65-year old climatologist said that the Paris Agreement explicitly acknowledges that the current emission reduction pledges, the so-called INDCs, will lead to increasing global emissions by 2030. Nevertheless, the aspirational goal of staying below 2°C of the Paris Agreement is not consistent with the pledges unless deep emission cuts at rates of about 6 percent per year between 2030 and 2050 are pursued.

At the end he concluded by suggesting that, whoever is building more coal power plants, however, is shutting the door to reaching the two-degree-target. We now more than ever need to avoid a global renaissance of coal - so we can transform the treaty into reality, and ultimately a better future for all. (ANI)