Klimawandel Das Zeitfenster für den Klimaschutz schließt sich

Bild von Georg Zachmann Simone Tagliapietra
Fellow Bruegel

Expertise:

Es ist unmöglich, beim Klimagipfel in Paris neue rechtsverbindliche Emissionsziele festzulegen, sagen zwei Forscher des Think Tanks Bruegel. Neue Strukturen für den Klimaschutz sind nötig.

COP21 is expected to deliver a new universal climate agreement that is applicable to all countries, with the aim of keeping the rise in global average temperatures below 2°C relative to pre-industrial levels. This is the global warming limit required to avoid serious consequences such as extreme climate events.

Strong political momentum on climate action has emerged in the build-up to the Paris talks. More than 170 countries, representing more than 90% of global emissions, have made voluntary pledges to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by formally presenting post-2020 climate action plans.

This represents a turning point in the global fight against climate change, mainly because emerging economies, key contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions, will now also contribute to the effort, while in the past (with the Kyoto protocol) only industrialized economies did so.

In this context, COP21 represents a unique opportunity to make a great leap forward to tackle climate change.

However, according to various studies, the pledges presented by the countries are still not sufficient to put the world on the right (2°C) pathway.

Es braucht einen Mechanismus, der die Selbstverpflichtungen schrittweise verschärft und deren Einhaltung überprüft.

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For this reason a system to increase the level of ambition over time should be established in Paris. This would mean that the long-term 2°C goal could be achieved even starting from the current, insufficient, pledges.

Furthermore, a mechanism to regularly assess and enforce national commitments should be put in place.

These elements should represent the two pillars of a new global architecture for climate action, indispensable to allow private and public investors to conduct the necessary long-term investments to decarbonize the global economy.

Ein Protokoll, das bindende Emissionsziele für alle Länder festschreibt, ist politisch unrealistisch.

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Der in Paris gewählte Ansatz, dass sich die Länder selbst zu einem Emissionspfad verpflichten, ist erfolgversprechender.

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Reaching a treaty with legally binding emission reduction targets is politically impossible, mainly due to the hostility of the US Congress. In this light, introducing new structures for action on climate change would be the most pragmatic solution. Such structures could guarantee the effectiveness of the Paris agreement.

Achieving such a solution will still face many political hurdles. Countries will attempt to protect national interests by trying to obtain as many concessions as possible (in terms of finance, technology transfer) and relinquishing as few giveaways as possible (in terms of mitigation obligations, finance, technology transfer, national sovereignty). And negotiations will take place in more economically and politically tense times than Kyoto.

But achieving a global deal will not be easier in the future. The window for containing global warming to a controllable level is rapidly closing.

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