December 13 2015
Finally, a day after the deadline, the Paris Agreement was adopted, and even though it is not perfect, it encompasses consensus about the work being done on the planet to counter the negative effects of climate change.
The Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21), held in Paris, produced a legal instrument that contains the clear differentiation between what the developed countries must do against global warming and what the developing nations must do.
In statements to Prensa Latina at the Le Bourget Exhibition Park in Paris, where the COP21 summit was held, the Cuban Minister of Science, Technology and Environment, Elba Rosa Perez, noted the fact that the new agreement defines the matters to be done to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Adaptation, vulnerability and financing
At the same time, the minister added, the document refers to adaptation to face climate change, one of the matters that have been demanded for many years by the developing countries.
It also has to do with vulnerability, and how it is present in each of the regions and countries and reflected in the letter of the agreement. The Paris agreement also dealt with financing although this still needs support.
1.5 degrees Celsius
Regarding ambition, the agreement highlights the need to work in function of temperature not going up more than 1.5 degrees Celsius. And although the national contributions made by all countries will not guarantee right now that that limit will not be exceeded, it is something that the process must achieve.
There are matters that have to be solved, like how and when all these will be implemented, when financing will come and other elements debated at the summit.
One good result is the creation of several working groups to continue advancing in those issues.
“Everything that Cuba has stated in the text, since the preparatory sessions, like the issues of adaptation, financing, transference of technology, the use of scientific breakthroughs, was included in the agreement and are positive elements,” the minister said.
A new stage to deal with climate change
Regarding the developing countries, especially the most vulnerable states, the small islands, there is a lot to be done.
In that regards, the Paris Agreement is not a finish line, but the beginning of a new stage to deal with climate change.
There are some developing countries that first have to eradicate poverty, inequalities, which are a group of aspects that are the premises to speak about climate change; therefore, it is a long road and the solution will have to come in a long term.
It can be achieved, if …
But if there is political will of the governments and state, and if there is interest, it can be achieved. But there are matters on which we have to continue working, so it was agreed to analyze the progress made regarding what was agreed upon at COP21 every five years.
It is a very important agreement for the future, with many expectations, and having reached it means that the sense of unity of the different regions and countries was on the table.
The small insular states remain very close in their stances, as well as the Group of 77 plus China. The South African negotiators played an extraordinary role, amid the diversity of opinions and views.
A landmark to remember
The Paris Agreement will be a landmark that we will have to remember, because the current realities of climate change is delicate not only in a long term but also in a short term.
The fact that 150 heads of State or Government came to Paris speaks about the political support it has received so far, and people are more aware about the need to continue working on that direction.
Cuba has been represented by a group of negotiators, and everywhere the Cuban delegation has provided balanced and in-depth analyses to reach consensus.
The presidency of the French COP acknowledged that the Cuban representatives have made several proposals at this historic conference. The stance of the Cuban delegation was always to seek consensus and bring forth constructive aspects at the debates in Paris.