HOT|COOL NO.1/2016 "COP21"


States had insisted on an aggressive, uniform system for countries to publicly report their emissions, and on the creation of an outside body to verify emissions reductions — a form of “carbon auditor.” Developing nations such as China and India had sought to be subject to a less stringent form of monitoring and verification than richer countries. Ultimately the agreement requires all countries to use the same emissions-reporting system, but it allows developing nations to report fewer details until they have the ability to better count their carbon emissions and defers creation of the carbon auditor agency to be determined later.

“This groundbreaking agreement on climate action – together with the commitments made by cities and businesses around the world – sets the world on a new and hopeful pathway,” Bloomberg said. “The agreement not only unites all nations in the battle against climate change, it also sends a clear signal to markets about the direction of government policy, which will help spur greater private sector investment in low-carbon technology. Like any agreement, it's not perfect, but it also includes a built- in remedy that many city leaders strongly supported: regular re-evaluations of national goals and transparent reporting of progress, to ensure that we are on track to hand a safer, healthier, and more prosperous world to our children.”

At the core of the agreement is a breakthrough on an issue that had previously foiled decades of international negotiations on climate change. Traditionally, such pacts have required developed economies, such as the United States, to take action to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, but exempted developing countries, such as China and India, from such action. The Paris Agreement removes that obstacle by requiring action in some form from every country, rich or poor. The primary aim of the agreement is to begin to level off the rise in fossil fuel emissions enough to forestall an increase in atmospheric temperatures of 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit). That is the tipping point at which, scientists say, which will lock the planet into a dangerous future of rising sea levels, severe flooding and droughts, food and water shortages and more extreme storms. The new agreement requires countries to return to the negotiating table every five years with plans that would ratchet up the stringency of their existing polices. The first such meeting would take place in 2020, when countries would be required to propose tougher plans. The accord also establishes “stock-taking” meetings every five years, at which countries will present an accounting of how they are reducing their emissions compared with earlier targets. In addition, all countries agree to monitor, verify and publicly report their levels of emissions. The issue of monitoring and verification had been one of the most contentious, with negotiators wrangling over final details toward the end. The United

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