#COP21: Scientists say draft climate pact a good start
LE BOURGET, France – Several leading scientists said Saturday, December 12, that the final draft of the Paris Agreement on climate change is a good start if the world wants to avert a potential global disaster.
"The final draft text recognizes the imperatives of the science community to tackle climate change," said Corinne Le Quere, director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research.
"The 3 key elements to do it are there in some form: keep warming well below two degrees, practically move away from fossil fuels, and review each country’s contribution every 5 years so they scale up to the challenge," Le Quere said in a statement.
The document, in its latest form, "sends a clear signal to policy makers, businesses and investors to start the transition to a low carbon and climate resilient society," said Steffen Kallbekken of the CICERO research center.
Scientifically speaking, the new text in Article 4 of the final draft, which talks about the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), is "clearer in scientific terms than what we had before," said Joeri Rogelj, the lead author of the UN Environment Programme Emissions Gap Report.
"Importantly, the benchmarks in terms of global peaking and global emissions reductions are consistent with the 1.5°C and 2°C temperature targets," Rogelj said.
However, experts are still cautioning that the deal is just the beginning.
"Paris is a global starting point. Now we need action consistent with science to reach decarbonization by 2050 and sustainable development," said Johan Rockstrom of the Stockholm Resilience Centre.
Diana Liverman, director of the Institute of the Environment of the University of Arizona, also said that the draft agreement shows a "significant step" in cutting human-induced climate change, but "certainly does not eliminate them."
Kallbekken also cautioned that the draft document does not say anything specific about countries' level and timing of emission cuts, and provides no "useful yardstick" for measuring progress.
"While not inconsistent with science, this does not reflect the best available science," he said.
Liverman also noted that funding for adaptation and loss and damage is "even more urgent."
"There is no indication of how much of the $100 billion a year in finance promised to developing countries in the agreement will be allocated to the vulnerable to cope with the impacts of climate change," she added. – Rappler.com