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Paris agreement draws applause, but some concerns remain

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  14 Dec 2015 12:00 AM GMT

New Delhi, Dec 13: The Paris agreement on climate change was largely welcomed by stakeholders in India and abroad, including Prime Minister rendra Modi's government, but there was also the concern that the rich countries could have done more to save the planet from the effects of global warming.

Modi hailed the agreement on climate change as the collective wisdom of world leaders to mitigate the danger, adding that there were no winners or losers in the outcome of the agreement.

"Deliberations at the 21st Conference of Parties (CoP21) and Paris Agreement demonstrate the collective wisdom of world leaders to mitigate climate change," Modi said on Sunday. The outcome of the Paris agreement has no winners or losers; climate justice has won, he said.

The landmark Paris Agreement on climate change was adopted by 196 countries, committing them to curb global warming to well below two degrees Celsius and outline a roadmap to raise $100 billion annually towards a green fund for developing tions.

"For the first time, every country in the world has pledged to curb emissions, strengthen resilience and join in common cause to take common climate action. This is a resounding success for multilateralism," said UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.

US President Barack Obama called the agreement a "turning point for the world" and said it sent powerful sigl that the world was firmly committed to a low-carbon future.

Environment, Forests and Climate Change Minister Prakash Javadekar said the pact could have been more ambitious as the commitment from rich tions was "much below" what was expected of them, but the basic concept of 'common but differentiated responsibilities' was largely addressed.

"To achieve big things as there are languages and many issues, when 196 countries are putting their efforts together, one needs to be accommodative without changing the thrust of the agreement. We've done everything to maintain that thrust," Javadekar said.

"Today is a historic day. What we have adopted today is not only an agreement but a new chapter of hope in the lives of seven billion people," the minister said at the closing plery in Paris.

"Today we reassure our future generation that we all will mitigate the challenge posed by climate change and give them a better future."

At the Conference of Parties (CoP), India provided leadership to the interests of the developing countries and lesser developed countries, Minister of Power Piyush Goyal said after the Paris accord was adopted.

"At CoP 21,196 countries assembled to tackle the most difficult problem facing our planet. 1,600 dissent points reduced to 0 in 10 days," Goyal said.

Nirmala Sitharaman, minister for commerce and industry, also applauded India's role at the CoP 21 and hoped for climate equity and justice for India.

However, environment protection organisation Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) called the deal "weak and umbitious" as it erases the historical responsibility of the developed countries.

"The draft Paris agreement continues to be weak and umbitious, as it does not include any meaningful targets for developed countries to reduce their emissions," said Sunita rain, director general, CSE, in a statement.

rain added that the agreement did not operatiolise equity and that the term carbon budget did not even find mention in the text, which would end up furthering "climate apartheid".

CSE alyses that India will be under constant pressure to take more burden for mitigating climate change by 2020 and beyond, especially when the next review of all the tiolly determined contributions of countries take place.

Gains & Concerns
* It provides a sigl for limiting global warming to well below two degrees Centigrade and even 1.5 degrees Centigrade of pre-industrial levels, increasing the level of ambitions by 2020.
* It calls for countries to be able to ensure by 2050 that only that level of man-made emission is released which our trees and oceans can absorb.
* It calls for rich tions to mobilise at least $100 billion annually from 2020 for developing countries to switch towards greener fuels and technology.
* The agreement does not take effect till 2020, but the work towards the goals starts immediately.
* The conference triggered 188 countries, accounting for almost 100 percent of emissions, to submit a paper on what they proposed to do for the environment, called Intended tiol Determined Contributions.
* The principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, that has been the main demand of developing tions, is well reflected in the agreement.
* It is a commitment from member countries that they are ready to implement the 2030 Sustaible Development Agenda that was adopted at the United tions General Assembly in September.
* It is a hybrid of both legally binding and non-binding provision, but with a transparent framework to build on mutual trust and confidence among member countries.
* There is no pelty on countries that default on the agreement, but the hope is none will work at cross-purposes as it also extends enough flexibility.

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