Paris Climate Agreement
The Paris Climate Agreement, five years after its adoption by UN member states, is changing international legal regime towards fast-track actions to achieve carbon neutrality.
Virtual summit was attended by 75 Heads of state and government.
In his address, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev outlined main approaches of Kazakhstan in combating climate change and reaffirmed its commitment to the goals and objectives set out in the Paris Agreement: "Over the next 5 years, we will plant 2 billion trees to increase carbon sequestration and curb the impending desertification that is the result of climate change. We are faced with the need to strengthen capacity of national adaptation. To this end, we are making climate change adaptation a legal norm in the new environmental code for policy planning at the regional and sectoral levels".
He also said that Kazakhstan will become a carbon-neutral state by 2060.
On the eve of the first anniversary of the climate agreement, UN Chief Antonio Guterres called actions to combat climate change and restore nature one of the most important tasks for the international community.
The UN Secretary-General said that the International Club for Carbon Neutrality will be established in 2021, and "Goal of the United Nations for 2021 is to create a truly global coalition". I strongly believe that 2021 can be the year of a qualitative leap towards carbon neutrality", he said.
According to Guterres, humanity impact on the planet threatens progress in the fight against poverty, threatens food security and hinders efforts to confront military conflicts. "Reconciliation with nature is the defining task of the XXI century. This should be the highest priority in everything and for everyone", he noted, adding that recovery from COVID-19 will be "an epic political step... and moral test" for humanity.
In his speech, the UN Secretary-General referred to new research on climate change conducted by several reputabl.organizations. World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has presented a report showing that the average global temperature in 2020 will be about 1.2°C above the pre-industrial level.
"Probability that temperatures will exceed 1.5°C by 2024 is at least one to five", says Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization. "This year marks the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement on climate change. We welcome all recent commitments by governments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, because we are not currently going according to plan, and additional efforts are needed".
In the fifth year of the Paris Agreement, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) found that global greenhouse gas emissions shall be reduced by 45% by 2030 compared to 2010 levels, and countries shall achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 in order to keep the planet from warming above 1.5°C.
Authors of a new report presented by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) believe that "governments should seize the opportunity to rid their economies and energy systems of fossil fuels and set a course for a fairer, more sustainable future".
"As we seek to restart the economy after the COVID-19 pandemic, investment in low-carbon energy and infrastructure will create new jobs and benefit the economy, environment and human health", said Inger Andersen, Executive Director of UNEP. "Climate crisis during the pandemic is relegated to the background, despite the fact that many believe that climate issues require equally urgent attention".
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will hold "Climate dialogues 2020" for two weeks starting on December 12.
The Paris Agreement was adopted on December 12, 2015, following the 21st conference of the Framework Convention on Climate Change. Participating countries agreed to prevent increase in the average temperature on the planet by more than two degrees Celsius by 2100 compared to the pre-industrial era. The agreement, in particular, presupposes voluntary commitments by countries.