After nearly two weeks of constant negotiations and discussions, the Paris Agreement now stands clear. It is the most significant climate summits of all time because it brings the entire globe under the same policy framework thus making the global goal a challenge for all nations and not just for the industrialised ones.
It has the strength to transform human interactions, technological intervention and landscape changes at all levels. However, several issues of contention will make these transformations slow or non-existent. Factors like differentiation, financial support, mitigation, loss and damage are likely to affect the actions of governments.
Article 3 of the agreement talks about differentiation and support by rich countries to developing nations. However, how well this mechanism works only time will tell. The ambitious 1.5 degree Celsius target is also an achievement in the agreement as it allays fears of the island nations facing the maximum risk. However, with current pledges and policies, the likely decrease in global temperatures are about 3 degree Celsius according to various estimates.
Though significant, the Paris agreement needs to be made legally binding on all nations and the enhanced transparency framework should be followed religiously if the world wants to keep a check on rising temperatures. Under enhanced transparency framework, countries should provide updates on Nationally Determined Contributions every five years starting from 2020.
Technology transfer to developing nations in order to combat fossil fuel expansion is another potential area. For example:- In order to achieve India’s goal of cutting down greenhouse gas emissions by up to 35% by 2030 will need alternatives to fossil fuels, the engines of economic growth today, in order to fuel growth and development.
Article 9 talks about financial support to developing countries i.e. to create a pool of $100 billion per year to address needs of developing nations for mitigation and adaptation starting from 2022.
If such aspects are realised over a period of time, and if there doesn’t occur constant clashes between the promises and actions of various governments, then the transformation is expected to produce extraordinary results.