U.S. President Barack Obama has said the U.N. climate conference in Paris could be a “turning point” in global efforts to limit future temperature rises.
COP 21 - the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties - will see more than 190 nations gather in Paris to discuss a possible new global agreement on climate change, aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions to avoid the threat of dangerous warming due to human activities.
Negotiators from 195 countries will try to reach a deal within two weeks aimed at reducing global carbon emissions and limiting global warming to 2C (3.6F).
Leaders from 147 nations have been addressing the meeting, known as COP21.
President Obama urged negotiators to deliver a meaningful deal, because the “next generation is watching”.
He told delegates: “Climate change could define the contours of this century more than any other (challenge).
“I came here personally to say the United States not only recognises the problem but is committed to do something about it.”
He added that recent years had shown that the global economy had grown while emissions had remained flat, breaking the old arguments for inaction “that economic growth and environmental protection were in conflict”.
Major points of contention include:
- Limits: The UN has endorsed a goal of limiting global warming to no more than 2C over pre-industrial levels by the end of the century. But more than 100 poorer countries and low-lying, small-island states are calling for a tougher goal of 1.5C.
- Fairness: Developing nations say industrialised countries should do more to cut emissions, having polluted for much longer. But rich countries insist that the burden must be shared to reach the 2C target.
- Money: One of the few firm decisions from the 2009 UN climate conference in Copenhagen was a pledge from rich economies to provide $100 billion (93 billion euros) a year in financial support for poor countries from 2020 to develop technology and build infrastructure to cut emissions. Where that money will come from and how it will be distributed has yet to be agreed.
This is all good news so far and its great to see that climate change is finally being taken seriously and actually being talked about by world leaders, however many vegans and eco-activists are perched on the edge of their seats waiting for the main cause to be mentioned - Animal Agriculture!
Many have been voicing this on social media but so far has yet to be heard in the climate change conference, will it be taken on board? or will it be ignored due to the large amount of money animal agriculture makes for its governments? This will be seen over the next two weeks as the talks continue.