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2021 is a year for climate action.
Dec,12 marked five years, since 196 parties agreed to a legally binding international treaty on climate change at COP 21 in Paris. The Paris Agreement seeks to limit global warming to well below 2, ideally 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Climate Ambition Summit 2020
On last Saturday, Dec. 12, the international climate Ambition Summit, brought together together leaders from across all levels of government, as well as the private sector and civil society, to present more ambitious and high-quality climate commitments, and measures to limit global warming to 1.5C.
There are three aims for the Climate Action Summit :
- One is to convene leaders and get them to make more ambitious commitments under the Paris Agreement, to help make sure we keep global heating below 1.5 degrees Celsius.
- The second aim is to share evidence that the commitments that were meant to be happening by 2020 have been fulfilled, and that we are now shifting towards momentum for 2021.
- The third is to create an inclusive platform to consider the world’s ambition for climate action — hearing from representatives from governments, the environmental sector, businesses, and academia
The Summit also saw 45 new or enhanced reduction plans across the globe.
Countries committing to much stronger plans than before, included Argentina, Barbados, Canada, Colombia, and Iceland. 24 countries have now announced new commitments to net-zero. Argentina made a new pledge to be net zero by 2030.
The new plans mean we are now on-track to have more than 50 plans officially submitted at the end of 2020.
Are We There Yet ?
The answer obviously no. The biggest problem at the moment is the COVID-19 pandemic because the whole world is going towards an economic crisis. It’s really hard for nations to be innovative and ambitious when they are just trying to keep the lights on and ensure that civilians are safe. This is one of the big setbacks that the world is experiencing with the Paris Agreement progress.
We need to move faster and ensure every country to take part and have a seat at the table, because without collaboration we will not address climate crisis. Some countries need to do more than others, especially those that have emitted carbon for longer and on a bigger scale.The UK is one of them — as the country that led the Industrial Revolution and has been emitting carbon ever since, it needs to show leadership. The challenge in getting people to work together, it’s the same with any shared task: there needs to be clarity, trust, and you have to inspire others too.
Will 2021 Be The Pivotal Year for Climate Action ?
The answer is yes ! And our individual behaviour can accelerate change in the system.
If the coronavirus crisis has brought home anything, it’s that we — each of us, separately and together — can change the system. It’s a powerful demonstration of our current global condition of interconnectedness. We are many. We are one. Now we need to slow the spread of the virus, to flatten the curve, to avoid the massive, unnecessary suffering of those among us who happen to be the elderly, the uninsured, the working poor who live from paycheck to paycheck, the folks who are alone and without any safety net. Self-isolation and social distancing are not about you; they’re about protecting the people who are especially vulnerable. In short: Your behavior changes the system. Your mindful behavior is needed to avoid a breakdown of the system.
In 2021, the world needs us all to be bolder, braver and faster in our response to the climate crisis. For all of us, the time is now.
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