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。
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。
"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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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!