Why Paris climate conference is important for the world

As the Paris summit opens, 183 countries have submitted pledges for greenhouse gas (GHG) curbs to the UN.

Updated: Nov 30, 2015, 20:56 PM IST
Why Paris climate conference is important for the world

New Delhi: As world leaders gather in Paris for UN climate talks on Monday, they are expected to focus their discussion on how to prevent global temperatures from warming by more than two degrees since the industrial revolution.

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Scientists have revealed that average global temperatures have recorded a rise of one degree Celsius for the first time, warning that the world is halfway towards the threshold that could result in dangerous climate change.

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Data gathered from around the world from January to September this year showed that the global mean temperature had gone above 1C, hitting 1.02C, which is above the long-term average between 1850 and 1899, UK-based Met Office said in a news release.

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Just ahead of the Paris summit, the United Nations’ weather agency World Meteorological Organization had also released a report showing that 2015 will most likely be the hottest year ever recorded.

On Monday, as the Paris summit opens, 183 countries have submitted pledges for greenhouse gas (GHG) curbs to the UN.

But according to recent analyses, those pledges are inadequate to meet the target, and still would see the world warm by 2.7-3.3C.

The Kyoto Protocol, the world’s only legally binding international climate treaty, is considered no longer in effect. The treaty, which was signed in Kyoto, Japan, on December 11, in 1997, initially covered the developed countries, but now it covers just the EU, Australia and a handful of other countries who are required to cut emissions by 2020.

Hence, world leaders must reach a climate deal to curb carbon emissions that impact global temperatures. Failure to reach a deal would lead to widespread and severe impacts – including rising sea levels, disrupted food systems and water availability, and more extreme weather events.