News Daily Spot: Historical agreement on climate change unites 195 countries in Paris

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Historical agreement on climate change unites 195 countries in Paris

A historic global agreement on climate change, linking for the first time in that struggle rich and developing countries, was approved Saturday by 195 countries at a conference in Paris charged with emotion.

Six years after the failed Copenhagen climate conference, the international community demonstrated that became aware of a problem that threatens life on the planet.

"I look at the room," said French Foreign Minister quickly Laurent Fabius. "I see that the reaction is positive, I hear objections: the Paris Agreement was adopted on climate," he added nervously, before hitting a hammer, as tradition dictates.

Attendees broke into cheers and applause, and many faces reflected the years of diplomatic effort.

The Paris Agreement from 2020 will replace the current Kyoto Protocol, and lays the foundation for reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and, more importantly, to start dreaming about a world without fossil fuels.

Two weeks of negotiations, conducted masterfully by French diplomacy, led to a result that poses enormous challenges for the energy sector, but also great opportunities for those who bet on clean energy.

The text, 31 pages in English (40 in Castilian), linked the fate of the great powers stations of greenhouse gases, like the United States and China, to small Pacific islands threatened by rising level oceans.

Industrialized countries, historical responsibility for the problem should financially help developing countries.

But the emerging powers that wish, as indeed has already begun to China, they may also do so voluntarily.

All countries are committed to mutually control their emissions reduction plans under a new mechanism in the UN system, with five-year terms from 2023.

The aim is that these emissions mainly responsible for global warming to record levels stop rising "as soon as possible" and then reduce "quickly", although without setting percentages, as they wanted the most ambitious countries.

In the second half of the century it should lead to a balance between emissions from human activities and that can be captured by natural or technological means.

- Latest struggles -

The text was adopted by consensus, without diplomatic wrangling last minute while in the waiting room solution.

Groups of countries had several hours to consider it.

A crucial group of twenty countries, called Thinking Affine, with India, China, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Cuba, considered the hardest when negotiating, gave his approval.

Also the G77, which groups 134 developing and emerging countries, gave its green light, which opened the door to final approval.

- More than 1.5 ° but less than 2 -

The text proposed to limit the increase in global temperatures "well below 2 ° C above pre-industrial levels", and "continue efforts to limit the temperature rise to 1.5 ° C".

That satisfies both emerging countries that do not want to compromise their economic development, as the most vulnerable to weather disasters, which require a drastic change of course energy countries.

Environmental organizations considered a breakthrough agreement, but not a resounding success.

"The climate wheel rotates slowly, but Paris has turned. The agreement leaves the fossil fuel industry on the wrong side of history, "the director of Greenpeace Kumi Naidoo said.

- 100,000 million dollars -

Developing countries will receive 100,000 million "minimum" from 2020, a figure that would be revised "no later than" in 2025.

That was a requirement that stems from the failed Copenhagen conference, which unites all developing countries without exception.

But the key part is outside the "hard core" of the text, and is located in the chapter of decisions to avoid obstacles including the US Congress in Republican hands.

The big stumbling block in recent years has been the demand of rich countries that emerging powers also contribute polluters.

China is the leading source of greenhouse gases in the world, the second US, EU the third, India fourth.

The text specifies that developed countries "shall provide" support to its partners in development, and that "other parties are encouraged to voluntarily provide or continue to provide their support."

Those 100,000 million are "valuable starting point, but still less than 8% of annual military spending" the world, recalled a scientist, Ilan Kelman, of University College London.

The countries undertake, if the text is approved in 2018 to evaluate their plans to reduce greenhouse gas (INDC).

These INDC were one of the highlights of the preparation of this conference, a background work of French diplomacy.

At least 186 countries have so far submitted such INDC, representing over 95% of emissions worldwide.

When the agreement comes into force in 2020, INDC those reviews take place every five years from 2023.

In the streets of Paris, thousands of environmentalists marched to make their voices heard to the challenge of global warming.

"I'm here to show that even without much hope of cop21, we will continue to fight," said Anne-Marie 69 years. AFP

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