HR -Protect Human Rights in all climate actionsIn Paris, governments recognized the interconnectivity of climate change and human rights. With a detailed preambular language that specifies that Parties, when taking action to address climate change, have to respect, promote and consider respective human rights obligations, the Paris agreement sets the foundation to make the new sustainable development mechanism accountable to human rights obligations.
Land use remained a contentious topic at the Paris climate summit this December with onlookers wondering how land and its capacity to absorb carbon would be incorporated into the final agreement. While initial worries about the treatment of land in the Paris Agreement were ironed out in the final agreement, the development of rules and modalities in the coming years will need to permanently close doors to using the land to offset continued fossil fuel use.
Despite spirited support by numerous countries including the EU, Switzerland, Mexico and South Korea, as well as industry, the new Paris climate Agreement does not give a new mandate for deeper reductions to the international aviation and shipping. This keeps the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in charge to address emission reductions in both sectors in 2016.
The climate summit in Paris left many negotiators who had worked for days without sleep with a sense of relief. The Paris agreement marks a major step forward to averting a climate catastrophe. But as we are heading to a 3 degrees warmer world, far from the aspirational 1.5°C goal, we simply cannot afford to stand still. Now is the time to turn the global climate deal into a springboard for more climate action worldwide. And who better than ‘high ambition’ champion Europe to spearhead this movement from words to action?
Paris did not come up with a decision to mobilise trillions needed to put the world on a 1.5 C pathway. Developed countries will continue to take the lead in mobilizing climate finance. However, the financial provisions are weak, with most relevant points shoved into decisions.
Despite seemingly genuine fears amongst some negotiators that the role of carbon markets might not be mentioned in the final agreement, the Paris treaty created two different frameworks for market approaches that will be developed in detail over the next years.