Paris COP21 on climate change – changing the world we lived

By Chua Chin Leng (chinadaily.com.cn)Updated: 2015-11-30 15:12
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There are great expectations in Paris this week with the arrival of world leaders for the 21st Conference of Parties on Climate Change from 30 Nov to 11 Dec. After a 20-year run of tough negotiations, an agreement is expected to be signed during this UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Chua Chin Leng [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
Touted as the last chance to save Mother Earth from global warming due to carbon emissions, world leaders are heeding the calls from environmental scientists and experts to ink a series of measures in this conference. According to a BBC report scientists are expecting the leaders to agree to an eight-point action plan in Paris.
The plans would include limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius, keeping CO2 emissions to 1,000 gigatonnes, a zero carbon society by 2050, the richer countries giving assistance to the poorer ones, protection of forests and oceans, research and a strategy to address the loss and damage due to climate change, and lastly to provide financing assistance to developing countries.
The urgency and seriousness of global warming would see leaders of more than 140 countries arriving in Paris for a summit. President Barack Obama and President Xi Jinping have arrived early for a pre conference bilateral meeting to set the tone and direction for the conference and to provide the necessary leadership needed to take the agenda forward. Both countries would have a common objective to work together and lead the community of nations to overcome a dire problem facing all nations caused by global warming.
The atmosphere in Paris this time is less adversarial but more consultative and cooperative. Most of the hard negotiations have been done by the respective countries' representatives over the years and there is great hope of a historic agreement for the good of the human kind.
There are still some disagreements on the fine details, but there is a general agreement to cap the global temperature change at 2 degrees Celsius. There will be repeated calls and measures for countries to cut down their carbon emissions from fossil fuels and switching to cleaner energy sources. Financial assistance would be needed, so are technologies on renewable and clean energies. Agreements would be signed, pledges would be made by the participating countries but the difficult part would be the implementations of these commitments, the change to new and clean technologies and the supply and construction of new energy manufacturing plants and facilities.
There would still be the demands from the developing nations, particularly the island states that would face the most direct impact of higher sea level, on the developed nations for more financial assistance to meet the challenges of shrinking islands. The pledges are voluntary though some leaders are pushing for them to be legally binding. What needs to be addressed quickly is the cost of implementing the pledges to the fullest instead of just a thought of what the countries would like to do. Many of the countries would be hard pressed when cost of cutting carbon emission is prohibitive. Who is going to finance the measures to be taken?
Countries like China with their manufacturing capabilities and technologies in windmills and solar panels would play a bigger part in assisting countries in transforming their energy production to clean energy. China could showcase its knowhow and clean energy products and processes to countries to meet their pledges and commitments to cut carbon emissions. It is infrastructure development of a different kind where China is well positioned to play a big role for the island nations.
The Paris meeting will generate demands and opportunities for clean and renewable energy technologies between the users and manufacturers of such technologies. The transition to new and clean energy will revolutionize human activities and behaviors in a very major way. New industries will emerge to support the needs of countries going green and to cut carbon emissions. Lifestyle and living will not be the same again.
China's investment and development in lowering the cost of green technology could be a game changer for countries wanting to make the change to new energy sources. No amount of talks, scientific presentations and pledges will make the earth better unless the cost is addressed and reduced to an acceptable level. After Paris the talking must stop and serious work begins.
Saving the earth from climate change is an enormous task involving every country and every citizen of the world, and is a continuous process of human endeavor.
The author, Chua Chin Leng, is a political observer from Singapore.
The above is my contribution to China Daily as a featured contributor.


Anonymous said...

" the richer countries giving assistance to the poorer ones "?????

What will the richer countries demand from the poorer countries in return???

I WONDER !!??!!??

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

India is now a key player in Paris after Obama and Xi left. India is demanding that the developed nations that caused the most carbon emission for two centuries of industrialisation to pay for the green technology and the cut in carbon emission of the developing countries that are just industrialising.

This is only fair as the developing countries need to grow and to feed their poor and lift them out of poverty.

Anonymous said...

For climate change, the long-overdue law (wait-long-long from big brother) translates to short-break promise (hope-small-small from everyone) . Here Singapore does not even believe in Corporate Governance/ Personal Data Protection/ International Code of Conduct/ Corporate Social Responsibility/ ... Hands-On Green Matters

b said...

Just another way to make money for the elites that controlled them. climate can be saved by stopping all wars and fighting and those elites giving up their lavish lifestyle and private jets.