The Paris Agreement brings a great historical change. This is due to its universality, which applies to all nations. This is also due to the fact that the agreement clearly shows all concerned that the world is moving towards a paradigm that integrates the reality of the fight against climate change. This is already reflected on the stock markets – in the days following the adoption of this agreement, stock market movements have already shown a shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Although this agreement is weak and has many flaws, it is the best outcome we can expect from all the governments of the world. It is far from perfect and sufficient to combat climate change, but it is a good step forward. Finally, the agreement contains a section on financial, technical and capacity-building assistance and cooperation, which includes a two-year cycle to verify that commitments made and commitments are being met. Since financial assistance is often directed to mitigation projects, the agreement corrects this asymmetry by ensuring that aid is put in place in a balanced manner between mitigation and adaptation. In addition, adjustment funding should be based on the public sector and subsidies, and the contribution of rich countries should be increased over time. The Paris climate agreement is a joke. And I should know that I was there when it was designed.
The report comes when President Donald Trump officially began the process of withdrawing the U.S. from the agreement and lifting the U.S. commitment. Even this commitment – reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 26 to 28% by 2025 from 2005 levels – was not brave enough, say the authors. In addition to the mitigation column of the agreement, the other pillars, Adaptation and Loss – Damage, are also weaknesses, notably L-D. One of the main demands of small island and least developed countries was to recognize the need to find solutions to forced displacement, cross-border migration and relocations planned in response to climate change and sea level rise. There is no longer any reference to this in the agreement, with the exception of an indirect reference to external UN bodies dealing with specific aspects of the DA, in reference to the UN ad hoc working group on climate-related migration. The United States also succeeded in concluding the accompanying decisions of the agreement with an exclusion clause on future liability related to L-D, while the G77 and China were already moving towards a compromise by removing any mention of compensation. According to U.S. administration negotiators, one of the key conditions for the Obama administration was to ensure that the deal was not rejected by a right-wing Congress. This situation was debatable, given that there is no precedent in international law for such an approach.
Imagine being a pedestrian who gets hit by a car and is not able to seek compensation from the driver, however unfair that clause is. Unfortunately, the agreement does not correspond to the most difficult issue of these negotiations: the differentiation of efforts between all countries. When the Convention on Climate Change was adopted in Rio in 1992, countries were divided into two categories: historical emitters and the rest of the world. This distinction was based on the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities and capabilities.” Today, the Paris Agreement adds the concept “in the light of national realities” to meet emerging countries and vaguely distinguishes “developed” and “developing” countries. In other words, it means that historical issuers are still the ones who are needed to shoulder most of the burden and continue to send emerging countries until they feel they have done enough. This legislation on the development of CO2 emissions is understandable, as many basic infrastructure needs to be built (for example.B.