After two weeks of intense negotiations, the French Foreign Minister and President of the UN Conference on Climate Change, Laurent Fabius, appeared alongside the French President Francois Hollande before the leaders of the delegations of the 196 countries that had sent representatives.
"We are at the verge of a new path," began Fabius. The already called "Paris Agreement" will replace the Kyoto Protocol in 2020 and represents the first legally binding in many parts global treaty against Climate Change. The main objective of the Agreement is to "keep the increase in global average temperature well below 2 ° C compared to pre-industrial levels, and continue efforts to limit the temperature rise to 1.5 ° C compared to pre-industrial levels".
To achieve curb global warming, the main step that reflects the agreement is that "global emissions of greenhouse gases peak as soon as possible, bearing in mind that developing countries will take longer to achieve it, and thereafter rapidly reduce emissions". Developed countries committed to lead these efforts.
If this strategy is met, for the second half of this century the countries would have managed to balance the emissions of greenhouse gases and the ability to compensate excess thereof (by absorbing it through carbon sinks such as forests and greenhouse gas reservoirs or emissions capture mechanisms), thus reaching the point of "zero emissions", which should be achieved at the latest, in 2070.
THE AGREEMENT KEYS: FUNDING
If something has hindered negotiations was regarding the financing and the distinction between what is considered wealthy countries and has therefore to finance the transition to zero emissions in poor countries. And it is that the richest countries (and therefore donors) will have to communicate every two years their contributions to the $ 100,000 anunal package for developing countries to accelerate without drastic consequences for its economy their transition to cleaner energy.
How was the agreement of the richest countries achieved? First, deferring to 2025 the increase in the budget that countries supporting the "cooling" of the planet that was agreed at the Copenhagen Summit of 2009 in 100,000 million annually. Secondly, removing any liability from rich countries to the consequences of the yet unstoppable global warming and its most notable impacts (droughts, floods, sea level rise, etc.). Thus, the Paris Agreement "does not imply or result in any form of legal liability or compensation", so that no country harmed by the effects of warming may demand compensation to the most polluting countries such as the US, under this agreement.
THE AGREEMENT KEYS: UPDATES EVERY FIVE YEARS
Undoubtedly, the policy more people will talk about is the review every five years of the commitment and level of compliance of the Paris Agreement of each country. The direct consequence of these "tests" will be the redistribution of financial aid received by each country attached to the Agreement, depending on the fulfillment of the objectives set. Given that the annual budget of 100,000 million, the review and subsequent budget reallocation will be an incentive effect for the proper degree of compliance with the agreement.
THE PARIS AGREEMENT AND THE WORLD CHARTER FOR SUSTAINABLE TOURISM
During the World Summit on Sustainable Tourism, sponsored COP21 and framed as an initiative within the Paris Summit, it was concluded that the tourism and travel industry addressing the challenge of spearheading the global movement in favour of a low carbon economy. The multifunctional and cross-cutting nature of tourism makes it possible to embrace an extraordinary range of climate change mitigation initiatives, particularly in critical sectors such as energy, transport, accommodation, provision of water and especially accommodation.
The consideration of energy efficiency in housing as vital for the sustainability of tourism is based on that, albeit we still haven't achieved the desired technology to absorb CO2 from the atmosphere in quantities sufficient to limit the rise in global temperature we do have a wide range of innovative tools (detectors, climate control, LED lighting, central control systems) that can significantly reduce the emission of greenhouse gases at very short notice. Energy savings therefore depends on enhancing innovation in reducing energy costs, a firm commitment to eco-efficient buildings, able to improve the efficiency of energy resources by upgrading lighting systems, heating or cooling.
The World Charter for Sustainable Tourism, vehicle to achieve in tourism the 17 Sustainable Development Goals adopted at the UN World Summit on Sustainable Development considers that tourist activity that contemplates energy efficiency and a massive shift towards renewable energies as its main lines of action is not only technologically feasible, but also brings untold benefits in terms of economic competitiveness, lower risks of dependence and eradication of energy poverty at destinations.
Finally, it's worth remembering that transport to destinations and mobility in tourism areas are currently the main contributors to emissions in all tourism operations. Therefore, the move towards low emission transport systems and means of transport based on sustainable mobility paves the way for a new commitment of tourism to sustainability and creates original attractions at destinations for conducting responsible tourism.
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