The Paris Agreement on Climate Change (CoP21)
France, which chairs the twenty-first Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP), held from 30th November to 11th December 2015 the 21st Conference of the Parties in Paris. The adoption at the conference of a universal climate agreement is a historic success.
The stakes are high: It is a question of containing climate change that threatens our societies and our economies. The Paris Agreement provides the framework for a transition resilient and low carbon societies and economies.
This universal and ambitious agreement, applicable to all countries, aims to keep global warming below 2°C (reference temperature: the pre-industrial), and try to limit it to 1.5°C. This agreement is differentiated, just, sustainable, dynamic and balanced and legally binding. It must result in a change in the global trajectory of greenhouse gas emissions, with a peak of emissions as soon as possible, and an emissions objective of neutrality in the second half of the century.
On emissions reduction efforts ("mitigation"), the agreement recognizes the leadership required of developed countries, which must make commitments to absolutely reduce their emissions. The Agreement encourages developing countries to gradually converge to such commitments.
For the first time, adaptation to the effects of climate change is central. The cooperation will accelerate the loss and damage associated with impacts - including about climate displaced population. An obligation to support developing countries is planned: A $100 billion per year commitment, from 2020, which then provide the basis for a more ambitious fiscal target.
France has also developed on the margins of the historic Agreement an "Agenda for Solutions", which aims to consolidate and boost business initiatives, communities, and all non-state actors. This agenda of solutions gives a more positive view of the fight against climate change. Paris 2015 embodied a paradigm shift: the fight against climate challenge is not a necessary means of "burden sharing" of emissions, but is also an opportunity for job creation and wealth, invention of new modes of production and consumption.
This momentum of Agenda solutions has already helped nearly 10,000 actors - states, cities, regions, companies, investors, NGOs - in 180 countries in 70 cooperative initiatives. One can quote many examples: A coalition of investors for the "decarbonisation" of financial assets has been created and provides for $230 billion of assets "low-carbon". The Paris Pact for water and adaptation will mobilize $1 billion and 300 players for adapting to climate impacts basins. The International Solar Alliance brings together 120 countries and aims to attract investment and technologies in solar energy.
The Paris Agreement will be signed on 22 April 2016 at United Nations Headquarters in New York on the occasion of World Earth Day, by many heads of state. It will enter into force when at least 55 States representatives 55% of global emissions of greenhouse gas have ratified it.
France has decided to increase its climate funding to €5 billion / year by 2020, of which 2 billion for sustainable energy in Africa between 2016 and 2020.
The French Embassy in Ghana and climate
The diplomatic representation of France in Ghana has mobilized to assist Ghana in the preparation of its national contribution to the Paris Agreement. The cooperation service has supported many awareness activities on the theme of the fight against climate change, in conjunction with the Environment Protection Agency of Ghana. A global citizen debate (World Wide Views) was organized in a hundred countries worldwide, Ghana has been actively involved with the support of the Embassy. The European Day of climate diplomacy enabled strong mobilization of local actors. In schools, several awareness campaigns were held and a national drawing competition was organized, with a stay in France offered to the winner. The Embassy of France has financially supported the African conference on clean cookstoves (Global Alliance for clean cookstove) held in Accra in November 2015. Civil society (NGOs and associations working in favor of the environment), involved in climate negotiations is instrumental in Ghana. An active dialogue has been established with the Embassy (regular information meetings and consultations).