Will COP 21 finally deal with climate change ?

climate-change reality

This year’s Conference of the Parties, known as COP21, may turn out to be the one that finally addresses the ravages of human caused climate change. Or will it? COP21 comes on the heels of some of the worst climate issues that humankind has experienced in recent years; including intense typhoons and hurricanes; and crazy Middle East “heat domes” that may make parts of the ME uninhabitable by year 2100. Also included are worsening droughts in many locations, including India, Africa, and the United States.

Fossil fuels, especially heavily polluting ones like coal and petroleum are still being extensively used in most industrialized countries; especially so in China. These fuels could derail the global warming degree target of 2 degrees Celsius; the warming temperature increase limit to be agreed upon in this year’s conference. Even this amount, if possible to attain, would still result in significant damage to the global environment, especially to agriculture in developing countries.

This years conference In Paris France is being attended by many of the world’s top leaders, including US President Barack Obama and Chinese president Xi Jinping. XI’s
participation comes at a time when some of the worst air pollution levels ever recorded are choking cities like Beijing. Much more than speeches and photo ops are needed, however, to slow down the increasing effects of global warming and climate change; that many climatists are now attributing to be largely caused by over use of fossil fuels.

Commuters, some wearing masks to protect themselves from pollutants, wait at a bus stand on a heavily polluted day in Beijing, Monday, Nov. 30, 2015. Beijing on Sunday, Nov. 29 issued its highest smog alert of the year following air pollution in capital city reached hazardous levels as smog engulfed large parts of the country despite efforts to clean up the foul air. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

 

In an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, Christina Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change,  said: ” A climate change treaty is in our shared interest.There is a good mood among countries to fight climate change. We need a legally binding treaty for all countries to adhere to; especially the large industrialized countries”. Ms. Figueres added that green technology projects must be accelerated; particularly those involving solar and wind energy.

Despite all the good intentions being expressed by the various high profile delegates attending this year’s conference, will an agreed upon climate change treaty be a situation
of “too little, too late” to deal with what is beginning to look like an irreversable reality? China, one of the worst pollutors on the planet, already has air pollution levels so high in Beijing that they are considered to be “extremely hazardous”.

Even in the USA, severe dust storms, normally attributed to other parts of world like the Middle East, are already occurring in states like Arizona as shown in this video

Reaching the agreed annual world temperature increase of 2 degrees Celsius is still not a very desirable level, taking the aforementioned “heat dome” phenomenom into account.
Large areas of countries like India, Kuwait and Iraq are already unlivable during the summer months. Weaning large industrial countries off dependence on fossel fuels will take years; and require heavy investments in infrastructure changes to renewable energy. Taking the example of the Arab Gulf region into account, do we have the time to reverse the ravages of climate change? Or is it already too late to do so?

More articles on climate change:

Crazy heat dome will mean no one can live in the Arab Gulf by 2100
Climate change “worst” is yet to come, UN report warns today
The wrath of global warming and the Middle East

Photo of effects of dangerous air pollution levels in Beijing, by Yahoo News/Andy Wong:

Photo Climate change image by  Tutu Foundation USA

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