News ID: 277967
Published: 1011 GMT December 11, 2020

Five years on from the Paris Agreement, the world looks ahead to the Climate Ambition Summit

Five years on from the Paris Agreement, the world looks ahead to the Climate Ambition Summit

By ambassadors of Italy, France and UK in Tehran

“The state of the planet is broken. It is time to flick the “green switch”. We have a chance to not simply reset the world economy but to transform it”, warned UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

Climate Change is a shared global challenge. Here in Iran, we see water shortages, loss of wetlands, dust storms and air pollution. In France, rise in temperature, floods, typhoons or damage to biodiversity in some French oversees islands; in Venice, Italy, record floods which have never happened with such frequency before; and in the UK, air pollution, flooding and a loss in quality of marine ecosystems.

Iran has already taken action, despite the difficulties the country faces in acquiring new technologies that aid in developing energy efficiency capacities. Iran's efforts to limit its global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions particularly through the development of renewable energies or appropriate fiscal policies demonstrates their engagement with the agenda. There are also concrete examples of win-win collaborations with the EU and the UN on restoring wetlands, forest governance, and more generally working towards greener cities.

France will devote one third of its recovery plan after the health crisis to the environment. France has also enshrined in law the objective of carbon neutrality by 2050, which is the objective set by the European Union.

In Italy, the National Energy and Climate Plan has set ambitious targets for increasing the share of variable renewable energy and closing all coal plants by 2025. Italy — strongly supports the EU aim to be climate-neutral by 2050 an economy with net zero greenhouse gas emissions.

In the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently announced the Ten Point Plan for a UK Green Industrial Revolution, which will allow the UK to forge ahead with eradicating its contribution to climate change by 2050. The UK has also set a new ambitions target to reduce emissions to at least 68% by 2030, based on levels in 1990.

Five years ago, on 12 December 2015, we saw a landmark agreement to combat climate change adopted at the Conference of Parties, COP21 in Paris. The Paris Agreement set in stone an ambitious collective goal: to keep global temperature rises this century well below 2°C and strive to limit it to 1.5°C. The dynamic agreement also provides a fair and mutually supportive framework to encourage the gradual upgrading of countries' commitments every five years; this includes support to developing countries to help them implement their commitments and increase their ability to adapt to the consequences of climate change.

Five years on, we are still off course to reaching the agreement’s objective. According to the UN Environment Programme, at the current rate of GHG emissions, global warming will reach 4°C by the end of the century or 3°C if all nationally determined contributions (NDC) were fully implemented. But this week, sees another pivotal moment in the global drive to tackle these effects of climate change.

On 12 December 2020, the Climate Ambition Summit, co-hosted by France, the UN and the UK, in partnership with Chile and Italy, will provide a platform for Heads of State and Government to present new commitments on climate mitigation, adaptation and financing. It will also mark one year until COP26 in November 2021, where the UK and Italy will continue work launched by France in 2015 and Chile in 2019, to encourage countries and private companies to agree ambitious climate change targets and to commit to work towards net zero carbon emissions. The agenda is ambitious, but we hope that new commitments will go above and beyond the announcements made in 2015. 12 December kicks off a year of action, not just mere declarations.

Many developing countries have already introduced ambitious commitments because they recognize the threat to their people and to the world. But of course, more developed economies bear a heavy responsibility, and need to act seriously. Which is why we would encourage Iran to review its climate commitments in a more ambitious manner and join us and 189 countries around the world who have ratified the Paris Agreement. Only seven countries are yet to ratify it.

All of us should make efforts to tackle the consequences that can been seen all over the world and make the planet greener. Only by coming together can we build the zero carbon, climate resilient future that is essential for our planet, our children, our grandchildren and generations to come. It is our responsibility to stop this. There is no time to waste.


Source: Italian Embassy in Tehran

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the Op-Ed article are the authors’ own and do not necessarily reflect Iran Daily’s viewpoints and editorial policies.

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