Climate Change Debates Rage On

The climate change debate has been going on for some time. About 200 nations have come together in Paris for COP21, an event that will bring about international rules and set up a financial path for the world to combat climate change. The event started in France, shortly after the Paris attacks. It sent a tone for the whole conference to begin on for the international community to unite together for a common goal. What started on November 30, 2015 is set to hopefully have a signed agreement on Friday December 11, 2015.

The meetings started with a lot of issues and disagreements between the countries. There were over 900 disputes at the end of last week’s negotiations. Those involved had decided to make this conference less specific than before. When confronting climate change they have acknowledged the realism with optimism. While there is no doubt there will be an agreement, exactly what the agreement will be is still up in the air.

The secretary general of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon had this to say about the talks in Paris.

“I’m hopeful and I’m reasonably optimistic that we’ll be able to have for the first time in the history of the United Nations a universal and very ambitious climate change agreement which will make our lives healthier and more prosperous.”We would not be where we are today here in Paris, with 196 Parties poised to adopt a global climate change agreement, without the leadership and vision of civil society…after Paris is over, their voices will be needed more than ever.”(1)

One of the biggest issues that has been present at the meetings are the disagreements between the poor and rich countries. Matt McGrath of BBC stated in reference to the opinion of wealthier nations: “more emerging economies should take on more of the burden of cutting emissions and providing finance to the very poor nations hit by the impacts of rising temperatures.”(2)

The poor countries have called upon more developed nations to help them deal with the consequences of the richer nation’s actions. They feel that while they do not have high emissions in their own country, they have to deal with what more developed countries have done to their land. The richer nations are asking for a specific financial plan to be placed in order to know where all the money is coming from and what it it going to. They have reasonable doubts of just giving their money to other nations and not knowing what is being done with it.

The main goal is to have a plan that will keep warming in different regions around the globe from increasing two degrees celsius.

Some other goals have been taken out in order to make an agreement easier to attain but this has upset other groups.

The Irish Times reported:

“Environmental groups and aid agencies expressed dismay at what they saw was a considerable softening of the text, as well as the removal of some key goals from the main text.”(3)

In order to make this process happen faster, they have taken out a lot of the goals and just focused on what most countries can agree to in order to get some work done on climate change. While the agreement is sure to be far from what most countries wish to accomplish, it will be a step toward more agreements and meetings.



2. Matt McGrath

3. Harry McGee


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