World leaders gathered at Paris to establish mechanisms to fight Climate Change
Leer en Español: Se calentó la cumbre en París para enfriar al planeta
December 12, 2017 will go down in history as the date on which the French President Emmanuel Macron, the President of the World Bank Jim Yong Kim and the General Secretary of the United Nations Antonio Guterres, invited world leaders to face the most urgent emergency that humanity faces: climate change.
The United States has expressed interest in withdrawing from the Paris agreement from 2015. Donald Trump made famous the phrase "make America great again"; in contrast, the French president Emanuel Macron, engaged to face global commitments in relation to climate change, has popularized a much broader slogan: "Let's make the world great again".
Thus, two questions arise: What is the priority for the citizens of the world, to return America great or to return the great world? Furthermore, should the world be great or habitable? That seems to be the dilemma inhabitants of the planet face.
"This summit was framed in the Paris agreements, but it has differences in terms of the actors it has invited, not only was the United Nations and the French government leading the entire process, but also the entire financial sector, panels and presentations were related to the whole issue of financing", claims Rodrigo Suárez, former director of climate change at the Ministry of Environment in Colombia and international consultant on these issues, in an interview with LatinAmerican Post.
However, not only banks were protagonists and took a leading role in the race to stop an increase in the atmosphere's temperature. This summit was also attended by members of the C40: mayors of the most populated cities on the planet working to reduce emissions of carbon and adapt to climate change.
Cities such as Vancouver in Canada, Quito in Ecuador and Changwon in China, are considered innovative cities. Representatives of those cities presented in Paris the different initiatives they have adopted to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases. Also, they showed the mechanisms to adapt themselves to the new conditions of the planet due to climate change.
Actors such as mayors, NGO’s and representatives of the biggest companies in the private sector worldwide, are essential to achieve the global objectives. Especially, when one of the main emitters of greenhouse gases, the United States, has manifested the withdrawal of the agreement to not fulfill the commitments acquired.
For Isabel Cavelier, former negotiator for Colombia in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, adviser to AILAC and, Director of Visión Transforma, argues that "the world has already turned the page of Donald Trump, in the past COP23 it was demonstrated with great vehemence, how a huge number of mayors and governors and a monumental proportion of the industrialists and representatives of the largest companies in the United States, are committed to the Paris agreement and to obtain the contribution of that country, then the White House became an isolated and marginal player. "
However, she adds that "this doesn't mean that there is not a greater degree of difficulty for having a contradictor in the presidency of the United States, but what is very clear is that the world has an absolute determination to go ahead and to fulfill with the objective in spite of what the representative of the republicans in the White House does or does not do".
That is why the French government awarded a subsidy of about 30 million euros to American scientists for research on alternatives that can reduce the global warming of the atmosphere.
Macron has embodied the world leadership to fight against climate change. The representative of Eliseo to the world's press said that "our predecessors could say 'we did not know', but we have not, for twenty years we know and every day we know more," in reference to climate change.
Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank, said that "after 2019, the WBG will stop financing oil exploration and production operations". The message is a clear discouragement to the use of fossil fuels; additionally, Kim added that "goal to allocate for 2020 28% of its funding for climate-related initiatives, and is also in a position to achieve the objectives of its Action Plan on Climate Change, prepared after the Paris Agreement".
Suárez explains that "they are marking very interesting milestones, if we understand that some countries are migrating towards renewable energies making the transit, for example, to mobility with electric vehicles, then we understand that they are very clear messages, they are demands for global goods and services and a market is generated at the international level ". Furthermore, he claims that "although it is true that the demand for coal in the United States grows, there will also be cities and states that will work to reduce emissions and generate energy from unconventional sources."
Moreover, the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, expressed that "our voices should cover those who destroy the world today and tomorrow,". This seems to be the slogan of all those gathered at the summit at the French capital.
"These types of announcements, like those made by President Macron, the mayor of Paris, the president of the World Bank and many others, are fundamental because they increase the 'international momentum' in a period in which we have two critical years, global emissions must descend by the year 2020, that is the window of opportunity we have to achieve the goal set in the Paris agreement to prevent the rise of global average temperature by two degrees Celsius", said Cavelier.
Despite the huge global efforts to stop the increase in the atmosphere’s temperature, the French president warns that "we are losing the battle, we must not make a mistake" and adds that "the challenge of our generation is to act and to do it faster". The wills of most of the states of the world are concentrated in transforming the current climate planet situation. Nevertheless, even in the 21st century, some groups insist on denying the relationship between the Greenhouse Gases emission, the warming of the atmosphere and, the consequences of climate change.
The expert on Climate Change Rodrigo Suárez summarizes the scientific certainty with a conclusive example. "Only 3% of the world's scientists say that Climate Change is not related to the emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, I ask you: if 97% of scientists says that a bridge through which you are going to cross, it will fall, would you cross it? I will not. "
LatinAmerican Post | Alberto Castaño
Copy edited by Marcela Peñaloza