WORLDWIDE: An agreement obliging 195 nations to limit global temperature rise to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and to undertake efforts to meet a 1.5°C goal was agreed on 12 December.
The new global climate treaty followed two weeks of intense negotiations at the COP21 talks in Paris where the ambition level of the agreement proved one of the most divisive issues.
The agreement binds, for the first time, all countries to a common framework of progressive reductions in greenhouse gas emissions while its predecessor, the Kyoto Protocol, only required this of developed nations.
The treaty includes a long-term goal of a peak in greenhouse gas emission as soon as possible.
Combined with the tighter 1.5°C limit, the “seemingly incomprehensible language” of the long-term target “implies a goal of achieving net zero in all emissions by around 2060-2080”, said Greenpeace.
GWEC CEO Steve Sawyer said the deal represents a $15 trillion opportunity for the clean energy industry.
“The very ambitious goals in the text now need to be matched with deeds. The agreement itself doesn’t change anything overnight, but it establishes a solid framework and a ‘floor’ upon which we must build,” Sawyer said.