Is COP 21 going to work?

The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Mohit Kharkwal, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur

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This Earth day around more than 100 nations signed the first global and legally binding treaty on climate change. This treaty is the result of COP21 agreement that was help in Paris in late 2015. COP 21 was hailed as historic turning point in global effort to fight climate change and its significant has been greatly enhanced by this signing.

But there are still critics and even some supporters who claim this treaty to be ineffective. They say that the aim of keeping global temperature within 2 degree rise compared to the pre industrial level is still going to cause major climatic changes. They argue that this is an exercise in futility and only a more aggressive plan will result in any significant changes.

In COP 21 however a framework to keep temperature rise within 1.5 degrees is also chalked out. But it is vague in nature. It encourages each nation to set its own achievable response which is required to be “ambitious” in nature. It also says that developed nations will have to help developing nations in this regard by providing  them with capital and technology. But this agreement has a catch. It has to be signed by 55 countries to become legally binding and this seem to be a monumental task.

Till these 55 countries agree this agreement will not have any teeth and no international enforcement will be legal. Even no fines or sanctions could be imposed upon the defaulters. So whether this agreement will work or not remains to be seen. But in the mean time we have to brace ourselves for a tumultuous climate.

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