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UNA Harpenden: Public meeting - the outcome of the UN Climate Change Conference

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Jack Easton from the Green Economics Institute gave us his impressions of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) held in Paris last December. The aims of the new climate deal, agreed at COP21, were to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by:


  • limiting the increase in global temperature to well below two degrees Celsius;
  • increasing the ability to adapt to climate change; and
  • promoting finance flows towards these aims.

The conference agreed that countries should establish their own ‘Intended Nationally Determined Contributions’ (INDCs) and a system would be set up to monitor the compliance of countries against their commitments. However, current estimates indicate that the sum of the INDCs is not yet enough to achieve the aims of the new climate deal.

The agreement will come into force after 55 countries have ratified it, if they account for over 55 per cent of the emissions. Although this seems easily achievable if the USA and China support the agreement, the US Republican Party leaders have warned that the agreement could be reversed in 13 months time. The monitoring of the agreement will enable us to see how effective it is.

Several campaigners have said of the agreement that "By comparison to what it could have been, it’s a miracle. By comparison with what it should have been, it’s a disaster."

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