COP21’s Paris Agreement signals beginning of the end for fossil fuel emissions

By Benjamin Flowers
Staff Reporter

World leaders participating in the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (UNCCC) have declared that the world will be free of fossil fuel emissions within the century.

After two weeks of negotiations hosted in France, the leaders of 197 countries emerged from COP21 with the “Paris Agreement,” a global response to battling climate change and its negative effects.

The final draft of the agreement, released on December 12th, says that through the mitigation initiatives, the world is striving for “net zero emissions” at some point between 2050 and 2100.
At that point, any CO2 emissions would either need to be captured at source and piped underground or offset by an increase in carbon sinks, such as trees.

The agreement, a partially legally-binding commitment, included a target to keep global warming “well below” the threshold of 2 degrees Celsius per year, which will keep the planet from suffering irreparable damage.

The agreement also included a promise by developed countries to channel a minimum US$100 billion a year into developing nations from 2020 to finance climate adaptation projects and assist them in tapping into renewable “green” energy.

The fund will also be used to protect these countries from climate change impacts such as floods, droughts and storms, as well as dealing with myriad climate-associated problems including mass migration, if drought and rising sea levels make huge areas uninhabitable.
Climate Change experts have predicted that those conditions will force hundreds of millions of people from places like Pakistan and China to migrate.

The Paris Agreement calls on those countries who are still classed as “developing” but have become relatively wealthy, such as: India, China, Singapore and South Korea, to do what they can to help out poorer nations.
Having completed the final draft, participating countries now need to show their commitment by ratifying it.

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