The Importance Of Climate Change
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Why does climate change matter?
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With rare exceptions, the News Tribune does not publish poetry; letters that are anonymous, libelous or attack other writers; consumer-complaint letters; thank-you letters; or letters generated by political or special-interest campaigns. We will consider exclusive Local View columns of words or fewer. Authors should possess unique insights, and their commentaries should demonstrate greater knowledge of their subject than letters. Include a full name, address and daytime phone number. Only names and hometowns will be published. Trending Articles. Crime and Courts. Letters Reader's View: The needs of working families and combating climate change is more important. Letter writers are limited to one published submission every 30 days. The Pre-COP is the final stop before all nations come together in November and features representatives of a few dozen countries, usually climate, environment or energy ministers.
At the meeting, the delegates engage in discussions to help refine and set the agenda for COP If you have more questions about what to expect from COP26, you can email our Science team. To understand it, we need to travel back to COP21 in December The 21st COP, which took place in the French capital, saw nations sign the Paris Climate Accords, or "Paris Agreement," a legally binding treaty with the aim of limiting global warming to "well below 2 degrees Celsius" by , compared to preindustrial levels levels commonly defined as the global average temperature between and To achieve that goal, the agreement sets countries on a course to reach a peak in their greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible and to shoot for "net zero" emissions in the second half of this century.
Countries that are party to Paris agreed to emissions reduction targets known as their "nationally determined contribution," or NDC. However, the conference provides the limelight and the international pressure that could see nations announce more ambitious targets. Last year was the end of the first five-year cycle, and countries were expected to update their NDCs in preparation for COP The idea is that countries will submit updated NDCs for and , making this a critical COP for the next decade. The Paris Agreement laid the foundations for taking action on climate change.
But in the past five years, as more science and research has been poured into understanding climate change and the effects of a warming world -- including the threats to biodiversity , the extinction of coral reefs, the increased risks of catastrophic weather events and a dangerous rise in sea levels -- the NDCs and targets that the majority of nations originally set for have been shown to be woefully insufficient if we're to keep warming "well below 2 degrees Celsius.
The Paris Agreement enshrined these two numbers in the public consciousness, but you can trace their origins back several decades. The idea of limiting warming to 1. But since Paris, the numbers have taken on a new level of urgency because the science of climate change has only strengthened in the past six years. This report goes into the minutiae of how 1. Further study has shown the situation to be even more serious.
In the latest report prepared by the IPCC, scientists showed that Earth has already warmed by about 1. The report argued that, even in the most optimistic scenario, we are almost certain to reach 1. However, with immediate, extensive action to mitigate carbon emissions we could drag the global average temperatures below 1. But what if we don't? What if global warming does reach 2 degrees Celsius?
It's only half a degree warmer right? Those small changes can make huge differences. In the recent IPCC report, the authors state that every half a degree increase will very likely result in increased heat waves, rainfall and droughts. Avoiding the worst impacts of the climate crisis requires all nations party to the Paris Agreement to reduce carbon emissions rapidly -- within the next decade. It's still possible to hit 1. First, it's the earliest opportunity for signatories to the Paris Agreement to get together and discuss updated NDCs. Meinshausen highlights the task ahead for COP It will need to "put the world on a downward trajectory path" when it comes to emissions and NDCs are fundamental to this process.
The European Union countries altogether rank as the third biggest. Some of these nations are attempting to lead the way. After rejoining the Paris Agreement this year , the US government has submitted one of the most ambitious reduction targets overall, though it's still short of what's required to limit warming to 1. The UK did similarly, submitting a goal of emissions reductions that is in line with reaching net zero by While China has recently been applauded for refusing to fund new coal projects overseas , it has kept its climate targets close to its chest. India is yet to commit to new NDCs, but there is some discussion that the nation will reveal its pledge at COP26 -- both nations will be worth watching at the conference.
It might seem kind of unusual at first, but there is no legal enforcement of NDCs and it's not the fear of punishment that holds countries to account. Accountability is really brought on by diplomatic pressure and the constant, transparent reporting countries must provide under the Paris Agreement.