Paris Climate Agreement Summary
Professor John Shepherd of the National Oceanography Centre, University of Southampton, says the agreement contains some welcome aspirations, but few realize how difficult it will be to achieve the goals. The alliance of small island states and least developed countries, whose economies and livelihoods are most affected by the negative effects of climate change, has taken the initiative to address losses and damage as a particular theme of the Paris Agreement.  However, developed countries were concerned that looking at the issue as a separate issue that goes beyond adaptation would create additional climate funding or imply legal responsibility for catastrophic climate events. By quantifying the damage done to society by CO2 pollution, Trump sees America as an island apart – and we all know what climate change is doing to the islands. (a) to keep the global average temperature increase well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to continue efforts to limit the increase in temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, the potential to significantly reduce the risks and effects of climate change; The initial commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol was extended until 2012. This year, at COP18 in Doha, Qatar, delegates agreed to extend the agreement until 2020 (without some industrialized countries withdrawing). They also reaffirmed their commitment made at COP17 in Durban, South Africa, in 2011, to create a new global climate treaty by 2015 that would require all major emitters not included in the Kyoto Protocol, such as China, India and the United States, to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. The new treaty – which was to become the Paris Agreement – was to completely replace the Kyoto Protocol by 2020. However, the Paris agreement came into force earlier than expected in November 2016. There are also serious legal and constitutional issues. Foreign leaders in Europe, Asia and around the world should have no more to say about the U.S. economy than our own citizens and their elected representatives. That is why our withdrawal from the agreement is a reaffirmation of American sovereignty.
(Applause) Our constitution is unique among all the nations of the world, and it is my supreme commitment and the greatest honor to protect them. And I will. Three years after the 2015 agreement, which includes nearly 200 countries, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has released a grim report warning that governments will not act quickly on climate change, and further devastation is to be expected. Another key difference between the Paris Agreement and the Kyoto Protocol is its scope. While the Kyoto Protocol distinguishes between Schedule 1 countries and those not annexed to Schedule 1, this branch is scrambled in the Paris Agreement, as all parties must submit emission reduction plans.  While the Paris Agreement continues to emphasize the principle of “common but differentiated responsibility and respective capabilities” – the recognition that different nations have different capacities and duties to combat climate change – it does not offer a specific separation between developed and developing countries.  It therefore appears that negotiators will have to continue to address this issue in future rounds of negotiations, although the debate on differentiation could take on a new dynamic.  The agreement is a massive redistribution of wealth from the United States to other countries.