Paris Climate Conference: Key developments at COP21

The Paris climate conference will, for the first time in over 20 years of UN negotiations, envisage to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement.

Last Updated: Dec 03, 2015, 20:35 PM IST
Paris Climate Conference: Key developments at COP21

Paris: As negotiators from 195 countries continued with their marathon talks to strike a deal to curb global greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) at the UN climate conference in Paris, here are some key developments that have taken place so far:

  • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, along with French French president, François Hollande, launched an international solar alliance of 121 countries to boost use of clean energy and curb global carbon emission
  • India pledged to assist USD 30 million to boost global solar energy generation
  • India submitted its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) which aims to cut down greenhouse gas emissions up to 35 percent by 2030
  • China promised to cut emissions from its coal power plants by 60% by 2020
  • International Paris pact on water and climate change adaptation announced, India is part of the coalition
  • France promised €2 billion by 2020 for renewable energy in Africa

The Paris conference will, for the first time in over 20 years of UN negotiations, envisage to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement with the aim of keeping the rise in global temperatures to below 2 degrees C over pre-industrial levels.

Why 2°C?

According to the IPCC, global warming of more than 2°C would have serious consequences, such as an increase in the number of extreme climate events.

In Copenhagen in 2009, the countries stated their determination to limit global warming to 2°C between now and 2100.

To reach this target, climate experts estimate that global greenhouse gases need to be reduced by 40-70% by 2050 and that carbon neutrality (zero emissions) needs to be reached by the end of the century at the latest.

However, analysis suggests that if the world builds all the coal power stations that are planned, a 2 degree limit on warming will be impossible.