Key elements in international climate change deal reached in Paris

Key elements in international climate alter deal reached in Paris

The final text of a n ew international climate alter deal has been published. Here are its key elements:

:: A long term goal to limit temperature rises to "well below" 2C above pre-industrial levels – beyond which the worst impacts of climate alter are expected – & to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5C which the most vulnerable countries say is necessary to ensure their survival.

:: A goal for greenhouse gases to peak as shortly as possible, undertake rapid reductions "in accordance with best available science", & "achieve a balance between anthropogenic emissions by sources & removals by sinks of greenhouse gases in the second half of this century".

The language is weaker than some previous options which had specific figures for emissions cuts.

But it references the science, & the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), approved by governments, warned emissions would have to come down by between 40-70% for the 2C goal & 70% to 95% for the 1.5C goal by 2050 & ultimately reach net zero to stabilise the climate.

:: Countries are to submit climate action plans for what they will do to curb global emissions, with a five-yearly system of reviewing & updating them with growing levels of ambition. They are being requested to update the contributions they have already made by 2020.

The review system is significant because the climate action plans already submitted by countries up to 2030 are not enough to put the world on a path to limiting temperature rises to 2C, or the more stringent 1.5C target.

:: Finance for poor countries to develop along a low carbon path & to cope with the impacts of climate change. Developed countries will continue to provide 100 billion US dollars a year until 2025, & will scale up finance flows after that.

:: There is differentiation across the deal between developed & developing countries in terms of what they will do to curb emissions & the provision of finance to assist support poor countries deal with climate change.

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