7-8 JUNE 2017 / Tour & Taxis / Brussels

A climate change agreement: Towards Paris and beyond

EDD15 - Replay - A climate change agreement

A climate change agreement: Towards Paris and beyond

EDD15 - Replay - A climate change agreement

A2
Thursday, June 4, 2015 - 11:30 to 13:00

Key points

  • Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) offer a unique chance to determine where support is needed to curb climate change.
  • Many developing countries lack the capacity and finance to submit complete and accurate INDCs
  • The EU is committed to remaining a large donor for climate change initiatives.
  • Any agreement at the UN climate change meeting in Paris in December will require political commitment, financing, the use of new technologies and capacity building.

Synopsis

Scientists and policy-makers are pushing for a 25 % reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030. To reach this target, countries must keep their promises, making sure their pledges are kept. Some countries are doing what they need to do, yet others are not.

Central to the lead-up to the Paris meeting is the commitment made by countries to cut their greenhouse gas emissions through Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs). Many are sceptical about the impact INDCs will have, while doubt has been cast over the degree of political commitment from some governments.

Several speakers agreed that INDCs are essential and Paris will be a unique opportunity for every country to make its contribution to curbing climate change. The EU is the world's biggest aid donor and is committed to climate change through financial and political support. INDCs offer a unique chance to see where this support could be used best.

Ethiopia has put in place a number of climate change mitigating measures such as renewable energies. However, a lack of resources is hampering progress. Ethiopia's commitment is conditional on developing countries providing more support, as it simply does not have the capacity or resources to meet the targets. 

Bhutan is also working to reduce emissions, as a 2°-C temperature drop would have a devastating effect on this Himalayan nation. Thanks to investing in hydropower and expanding forest land, Bhutan is now carbon negative. However, a lot more work needs to be done and that international support and global partnerships are vital.

Kenya is taking action against climate change through a number of initiatives, including enacting a new national climate change bill, which will soon be approved by the country's senate. But vague guidelines and a lack of means of implementing INDCs are a challenge for the country and other developing countries. Access to solid historical data needed to complete INDCs is also lacking.

The UN conference in Paris is not the end to tackling climate change, but just the beginning, and will require political commitment, financing, the use of new technologies and capacity building. A ‘complete package’ for Paris is needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

Insight

At home or in the office, ask yourself how you can put the climate into everything you do. You can change climate change.

    Stephen Kinguia
    Jos Delbecke
    Director General, Directorate-General for Climate Action, European Commission
    European Commission - DG for Climate Action
    Teresa Ribera
    Director
    Institut du Développement Durable et des Relations Internationales
    Judy Wakhungu
    Cabinet Secretary for Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, Kenya
    Belete Tafere Desta
    Minister of Environment and Forestry, Ethiopia