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Paris Agreement goals are nowhere near achieved

Paris agreement

Paris Agreement goals are nowhere near achieved

As the COP26 approaches, many have voiced their support of the conference. Yet some activists have raised their concerns about the forthcoming event. One of the boiling issues is about the achievement of goals set out in the Paris Agreement.

The Paris Agreement’s major goal is to prevent world average temperature rise this century as near to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels as possible.

To ensure a global net-zero future according to the Paris Agreement, developed countries have committed to assisting poor countries to achieve their climate goals, especially because they are the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

However, as the 26th Conference of the Parties approaches, several climate activists and Civil Society Organizations (COSs) have stated their concerns and dissatisfaction with the COP so far.

Most intriguingly, the Africa Climate Justice Group (ACJG) organized the first-ever counter-COP, called the Africa People’s Counter COP (APCC) on 25-27 October 202. The event brought activists from all over the world together to air counterarguments against the COP.

The Africa Climate Justice Group – which is made up of 17 movement-based and affiliated organizations – and partners are working for climate justice and standing in solidarity with people all across the world, particularly those who are experiencing the worst effects of the climate crisis.

The Africa Climate Justice Group believes that the COP does not deal with any climate issues, making any changes to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and doing anything to mitigate climate change’s effects.

If this is true, why was the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC) conference convened in the first place? With a total of 197 countries as signatories, is the annual COP just an empty show where world leaders pay lip service and claim to lower their carbon footprints without doing anything tangible?

Also, the ACJG claimed that the Paris Agreement’s solutions are false and are only about finding ways to monetize the climate crisis rather than finding solutions to it. In view of the disproportionate effects of climate change, these concerns are valid.

As far as the agreement is concerned, the status quo is very much the same. The sea levels are rising; droughts and floods still plague the nations; glaciers are still melting; there is a decrease in biodiversity; heatwaves and wildfires are on a record high.

Expectations of the ACJG for COP26

Bans on fossil fuels and a just transition to a cleaner, safer, and more accessible energy future for Africa are among the ACJG’s expectations.

Clean up your act and invest in renewable energy that is cleaner, safer, more affordable, and more accessible, which must include socially owned renewable energy for the transition to be equitable.

We also want to challenge our governments and African institutions to negotiate in the best interests of our African people and earth in the upcoming COP26 in Glasgow and any further UNFCCC sessions.

While climate activists and COSs have expressed their concerns, there are hopes that the COP26 will bring positive development in the implementation of climate resilience and adaptation measures.

Hopes for the COP26

One of the issues this year’s COP hopes to address includes eliminating coal use and developing solutions that protect, repair, or regenerate natural carbon sinks like forests.

Another expectation is speeding up the transition to electric vehicles, accelerating the phase-out of coal power, chopping down fewer trees, and safeguarding more people from the effects of climate change, such as through funding coastal-defense systems.

To meet the first two objectives, rich countries must follow through on their pledge to mobilize at least $100 billion in climate money year by 2020.

Meeting the established targets is conceivable if countries are more deliberate in their climate actions as well as hold up their end of the bargain in order to mitigate the effects of climate change

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