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1月份朝邦對話訊息『COP21: 具歷史意義的能量變化』 COP21: A Historic Shift in Energy

『COP21:

具歷史意義的能量變化』

1月份朝邦對話訊息


「這真是一個歷史性的時刻,」聯合國秘書長潘基文在葉片型狀綠色小木槌敲下,拍定至今最大幅度的天氣變化協議定案之後如此表示。

就在巴黎社會與價值觀受到恐怖攻擊所摧殘,撕裂了這個世界之後的不到一個月,巴黎做出回應,悲痛,決定以更慈悲的精神、以詩詞、藝術彼此撫慰,並主辦代表全球團結的聯合國COP21締約大會。

朝邦文教基金會的引導者顏克莉代表澳大利亞全球綠黨(Green Greens)出席這場盛會,串連公民社會的草根環保運動者與國會議員,從全球的面向一同在這個議題上合作。

COP21天氣變化協定約數聯合國的196個國家,決定降低排放量,透過財政、技術移轉來緩和全球暖化的問題,協助受天氣變化而影響的國家復甦,共同努力讓我們的經濟體與社會轉變成更容易居住的星球。

讓這項協議拍案通過並不容易。過去二十多年來,全球各地為了天氣變化的議題,企圖找出可行的政治解決方案。上一次大家想要解決這個問題而舉行的COP15,是在2009年的哥本哈根舉行,卻因為已開發國家和未開發國家之間雖有共同點,但是在減少碳汙染的責任分擔上無法達成協議而破局

COP21開始時,這些困境仍未解決。長達50頁的草案上面框了超過900項標記,都是大家無法同意的要點。

大家的歧見最主要為:

  1. 目標
  2. 每個國家在減緩碳排放量上需要負責的程度
  3. 在未來對於回收能源所提供的支持


外交話語

會議中,各方除了傳統的簡報之外,主辦的法國也規劃了許多不同的會議,引導各方進行更深度的討論。

「懺情會議」是與法國外交人員的會議,所有代表在確認隱密的情況下坦率地討論這些議題。名稱很特別的「非正式的非正式」會議,則是讓代表們針對草案上意見分歧的特定議題試圖進行更延伸的討論,這些通常是在廊道進行。

有些很成功的會議,則是沿循傳統非洲祖魯(Zulu)部落的模式,稱為 indaba。這種協商的技巧讓所有的人都表達自己的意見,但是仍能快速得到共識。參與者不會一直重複自己的立場,而是被鼓勵要表達自己的「紅線」,也就是自己的底線,並試圖提出方案,讓大家更能找到共同點。有一位西非的外交人員就表示:「這是一個很有成效的方法,能夠讓協商更有效率,跨越大家的歧見。」

成果

經過兩星期的熱烈討論之後,極具歷史意義的協議終於達成。世界各國首度以一個全球性社區的立場思考一個全球性的問題。所有196個國家接受了這個具有法律約束力的協議,推動有成效的行動,避免危險的天氣變化。1992年聯合國氣候變化綱要公約訂定了全球的目標與結構,2015 COP21巴黎協議則是要求各國提出自訂預其貢獻(NDC),所有人都必須付出心力,共同達成全球的目標。

最重要的是,COP21代表化石燃料即將成為過去式,因為我們將以乾淨、可再生的能源取代煤炭、石油與天然氣能源。

以下就是COP21重要議題的成果:

  1. 目標:這項協議認知到我們必須竭盡所能,預防全球暖化超過1.5°C。相較於之前所訂定的2°C,下調至1.5°C,COP21可能因此解救了好幾百萬條生命,讓許多接近海平面的小國家可以存活下來,可能因此讓我們的子孫有更穩定的天氣狀況,造就出更繁榮健康的社會。這項決議也代表這個世界願意接受,大部分的化石燃料必須留在原地。如果要避免1.5°C,就需要立即有所作為。
     
  2. 責任:為了達到1.5°C的目標,設定的「不倒退機制」持續檢討、強化、加快大家的行動,隨時間進行逐漸增加每個國家的目標。這項機制將會從2023年開始,每五年正式檢討與修正,也將於2018年進行引導式的對話。
     
  3. 支持:此協定決定透過綠色基金(Green Fund)每年提供1000億美元給開發中國家,協助各國以乾淨的可再生能源為基礎來發展。已開發國家則必須在接下來幾年內增加財務上的協助,並推動潔淨計畫,共同達成目標。

其他在COP21的重要宣布還包括:

  • 巴黎、拉斯維加斯、溫哥華、斯德哥爾摩等都市的上千位市長和當地領袖表示,他們會採用100%再生能源。

  • 氣候變遷脆弱國家論壇 (Climate Vulnerable Forum )的成員國家(包括孟加拉、菲律賓、斯里蘭卡與亞洲島嶼國家等地)呼籲大家在2050前達到100%再生能源,並在這一年完全取代化石燃料。

  • 非洲國家設立「非洲可再生能源計畫 (AREI)」,幫助非洲踏入低碳的發展。AREI的目標是在2020年之前,建立至少10吉瓦(GW)全新可再生能源發電容量,在2030年前達到300吉瓦的容量。考慮到目前非洲的總電力容量約為150吉瓦,這是很重要的佈達。

  • 比爾‧蓋茲宣布歷史上最大的潔淨能源的投資,創立「突破性能源聯盟(Breakthrough Energy Coalition)」。這個聯盟成員包括28位慈善家、投資基金經理人與高科技執行長,資金則隸屬「創新使命Mission Innovation 」,希望活化、加速全球乾淨能源的創新,並致力於降低潔淨能源成本。

  • 古歌(Google)宣布2025年時,採購的可再用能源的金額將增加三倍,希望到時能全面使用潔淨能源。

  • 集體價值約3.5兆美元的500家機構允諾將撤銷部分的化石燃料。

 

最重要的是我們接下來的行動。

現在就是執行這極具意義的協議的時刻。我們不要誤認這個任務有多簡單。要停止我們對化石燃料的依賴,需要我們徹底改變我們對於能源的來源的想法。這也是一個令人振奮的機會,讓我們在事業和個人生活風格上,可以運用無盡的創意,敞開更多的可能性。

最棒的地方,就是我們不需要等聯合國下次開會做出重大的決策。每個人所做的每一個決定,都是影響天氣變化與永續發展的行動。每一個人都能決定在這個珍貴的星球上,要擁有什麼樣的生活品質。隨著2015年進入尾聲,我們即將進入全新的一年之時,讓我們思考這項在COP21簽署的全球性決議的重要性,並做出我們想要為這世界帶來的改變。

COP21: A Historic Shift in Energy

"History will remember this day," said Ban Ki-moon, secretary general of the United Nations, moments after a green, leaf-shaped gavel was dropped on the most ambitious, far-reaching deal on addressing climate change that the world has ever seen.  

Less than a month after Paris experienced violent attacks on their society and values, revealing deep divisions in our world, Parisians responded, mourned and healed with more kindness to one another, poetry, art and hosting a grand demonstration of global unity at COP21.

CP Yen Foundation facilitator Keli Yen attended COP21 in her role as Global Greens Coordinator to connect Green activists from the civil society grassroots to national Members of Parliament to work together at a global level, and this is her report for the CPYF dialogue newsletter.

The COP21 climate agreement achieves in committing the 196 countries of the United Nations to limit global temperature increase by cutting emissions and by supporting one another with financing, technology transfer and capacity building to transform our economies and societies for a more habitable planet.

Reaching that agreement was not easy. The world has struggled for over 20 years to agree on a political solution to climate change.  The last major attempt to reach an agreement was COP15, held in Copenhagen in 2009, and is regarded as a failure due to disagreement between developed and developing countries over their common but differentiated responsibility to reduce carbon pollution.

At the start of the COP21 meeting there was still profound disagreement. The nearly 50 page draft agreement contained more than 900 brackets of text which was still under negotiation.

The main issues of the disagreement were:

  1. the Goal
  2. the Responsibility of each nation to take action
  3. the Support each nation will give to one another


Diplomatic discourse

In addition to the normal presentations delivered by each party to the conference, the French hosts also organised various types of meetings to facilitate discussion on the issues.

"Confessionals" were meetings with French diplomats where delegates could speak frankly and privately.

The oddly-named "informal informals" were sessions that were often held in the corridors in which delegates would discuss specific areas of disagreement in the draft text.

Some very successful meetings were modelled after a Zulu tradition called the "indaba". This negotiation tactic is designed to allow every party to voice their opinion, but still quickly arrive at a consensus. Instead of repeating previously-stated positions, participants are encouraged to state "red lines" - thresholds that they don't want to cross - as well as proposing solutions to find common ground. "It is a very effective way to streamline negotiations and bridge differences," said one West African diplomat.

 

The Outcomes:

After two weeks of non-stop discussion a historic agreement was achieved.  The international community has, in a rare instance, acted as a global community facing a global problem.  All 196 parties accepted a legally-binding obligation to undertake effective action to avert dangerous climate change. 

The 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change had set up the global objective and structure, and the 2015 COP21 Paris Agreement built upon that further by requiring nationally-determined contributions (NDCs) from everybody to deliver on this global objective.

Most significantly, COP21 signals the end of the fossil fuel era as the world rapidly replaces coal, oil and gas with clean renewable energy sources.


Here are the outcomes of the key issues of COP21:

  1. Goal: The agreement recognises the need to do everything possible to stay below 1.5°C of global warming. 

    By setting our ambition at 1.5°C, rather than the previous limit of 2°C, the COP21 agreement may save the lives of millions. It may lead to the survival of many small nations close to sea level.  It may give our grandchildren a far more stable climate and thus a more prosperous and healthy society. And it clearly means the world has accepted that most known reserves of fossil fuels must stay in the ground. 

  2. Responsibility: To achieve the 1.5°C goal, a “ratchet mechanism” will raise each nation’s ambition over time by continually reviewing, strengthening, and accelerating action.  The formal review and updating of targets will occur every five years starting in 2023, with a facilitative dialogue in 2018.

  3. Support:  US$100 billion per year will be provided to developing countries through a Green Fund to enable development based on clean renewable energy.  Developed countries are urged to scale up their financial support over the next few years, with a clear plan to collectively meet the target.

Other significant announcements made during COP21 include: 

  • 1,000 mayors and local leaders from cities including Paris, Las Vegas, Vancouver and Stockholm announced that they would go 100% renewable.

  • Member nations of the Climate Vulnerable Forum  (including Bangladesh, Philippines Sri Lanka and Pacific Island Countries) called for the world to move to 100% renewable energy by 2050 and to completely phase out of fossil fuels by 2050.

  • African nations created an African Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI) to help Africa leapfrog into low-carbon development. The goal of the AREI is to build at least 10 GW of new and additional renewable energy generation capacity by 2020 and 300 GW by 2030. Considering that current total electricity generation in Africa is roughly 150 GW, this is a very big announcement.  

  • Bill Gates announced the biggest clean energy investment fund in history, the Breakthrough Energy Coalition. Consisting of 28 philanthropists, investment fund managers and tech CEOs.  The fund is part of an initiative called Mission Innovation which aims to reinvigorate and accelerate global clean energy innovation and make clean energy widely affordable.  

  • Google announced they would triple their purchases of renewable energy by 2025, with the goal of powering their operations with 100% clean energy.  

  • 500 institutions with a collective $3.5 trillion in net worth committed to divestment of some form from fossil fuels.


What matters now is what we do next.  

Now it’s time to implement this extraordinary agreement.  Let us be under no illusions as to the magnitude of the task.  Ending our dependence on fossil fuels requires a personal shift in our thinking about the resources we live off of.  This is an exciting opportunity opening up enormous possibilities for creativity in business and in our own lifestyles. 

The great news is that we don't need to wait for the next United Nations conference to make important decisions. Each choice an individual makes is an action impacting climate change and sustainability.  It’s totally up to you to decide the quality of life on our precious planet.  As we embark on the new year, let’s reflect on the significance of this global agreement achieved at COP21 and be the change that we want for the world!

 

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