Paris climate change summit: Key points

What is it about?

From November 30 to December 11 world leaders will gather in France for a crucial conference, known as “Paris 2015”. They will have the task of defining a new international agreement on the climate, for all countries, with the essential aim of keeping global warming below 2°C.

The convention, known as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), was selected during the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit in 1992.

The UNFCC is a universal convention of principle, granting states the main duties to reduce the risk of human-induced climate change. The final decisions can only be made unanimously by all world leaders, or by consensus.

Who will be there?

According to The Guardian, more than 80 world leaders will attend the summit, with  the USA’s Barack Obama, China’s Xi Jinping, and Britain’s David Cameron confirming their attendance in December.

Why is it so important?

Scientists have warned that global warming will become irreversible if greenhouse gas emissions keep rising and go beyond the threshold, estimated as a temperature rise of 2 degrees celcius.

Studies have shown that the Earth is heading towards a temperature rise of 5 degrees celcius, which was the kind of temperature we had during the last ice age.

What will happen?

Plenty of things. The biggest emitters have already agreed to cut their emissions, with the EU by 40 per cent compared with 1990 levels, by 2030 and the US by 28 per cent compared with 2005 levels, by 2025.

For the first time in history, the COP conference will hold a consultation with civil societies, which means that the public and other “non-state” actors will be able to participate in the debate through civil society representatives and activities held at Paris-Le Bourget, a space dedicated to international organisations such as NGOs and businesses.

This event might be a huge accomplishment for all nations who must meet and agree on fair and applicable solutions on the climate.

Artefact will be covering the event and will have more details on the conference over the coming weeks.


Feature image taken from Wikimedia Commons.