The Conference of the Parties (COP22) has seen mixed reactions from developed, developing and some of the most climate vulnerable countries and while the biggest and richest countries continue to battle it out internally for their climate policies, the most vulnerable have decided to take matters in their own hands.
47 most climate vulnerable countries have taken a pledge to move towards 100 per cent renewable energy in the next 4 years – a pledge that is commendable considering the dearth of resources at their disposal to achieve these targets. Nonetheless, these countries have shown that countries can take a stand and follow the path that was etched out at COP21 in Paris before its too late.
Marshall Islands minister Mattlan Zackhras said at the conference that they were taking the pioneering steps to transform their economies into 100 per cent green economies that rely on nothing but renewal energy and that they want other countries to follow in their footsteps to evade catastrophic impacts through hurricanes, flooding and droughts.
The CVF countries have also pledged that they are going to update their respective national climate-cutting plans before 2020 and will develop more sustainable long-term plans as soon as possible. While the CVF countries are moving forward with their commitment to do as much as they can to abide by the Paris agreement, they are concerned that the richer, bigger countries aren’t doing enough and whatever they are doing is at a snail pace.
“We don’t know what countries are still waiting for to move towards net carbon neutrality and 100% renewable energy,” comments Edgar Gutierrez, who is the Costa Rican minister for the environment. “All parties should start the transition, otherwise we will all suffer.”
The scientific community as well as global leaders are still waiting to see what president-elect Donald Trump’s move will be as far as America’s stand on the Paris agreement is. Trump is completely against the view of climate change and has indicated during his campaigns that he will pull America out of the Paris agreement as he believes that climate change and global warming are false agendas being propagated by the Chinese.
At the UNFCCC COP22 the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) also issued a report commissioned by the CVF, independently developed together with climate science and policy institute, Climate Analytics, entitled Low Carbon Monitor. The report examines benefits and opportunities of limiting warming to 1.5°C as enshrined in the goal of the Paris Agreement on climate change.
The report’s key findings include the fact that economic growth as measured by GDP would be 10%, or USD12 trillion higher, if the 1.5°C threshold is held, compared to current policies which would see temperature rise to 3°C or more. The report shows that 1.5°C is feasible, requiring global zero CO2 emissions at mid-century and the investment share of renewable power reaching close to 100% of the energy mix.