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What Was Agreed at the COP 23 Conference?

24/11/2017 Events, Flooding COP23 word cloud

The 23rd Conference of the Parties concluded last week. The annual climate change forum – where representatives of nation states and large non-state actors come together to discuss the future of our planet – was hosted by the German city of Bonn. It was widely expected to be a technical affair with discussion based around the timetable for implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement. However, the conference threw up a few surprises. Let’s take a look.

Divided Opinions

The developed nations were very keen to discuss implementation of the Paris Agreement which is due to be rolled out from 2020. However, the rest of the world had some questions for the developed nations regarding our broken promises pre-2020. There’s an interactive map on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change website where you can click on a country to find out where it should be at in terms of emissions by 2020.

American Isolationism

Not since the days of isolationist President James Monroe has America seemed so out of step with the rest of the world. Syria signed up to the Paris Agreement in the weeks leading up to the latest conference – making the United States under President Trump the only nation in the world that is not on board. However, representatives of several American cities, counties and corporations that are vowing to stick to the Paris Climate Agreement were in attendance at the conference in Bonn.

Loss and Damage

The three pillars for action enshrined at the Paris Agreement were:

  • Mitigation – keeping global temperature rises to less than 1.5°.
  • Adaptation – preparing for the impact of these temperature rises.
  • Loss and damage – compensating those that are already affected.

The last of these three is another area that the less developed nations are understandably keen to discuss. As the seawaters rise and hurricanes become more powerful – who will pay for the clean-up? The island nation of Fiji, who presided over COP 23, has already had to relocate entire villages due to coastal erosion and sea level rise. The severe nature of climate change disasters is not matched by the commitment of attendees at the COP 23 conference to compensation. There were no proposals put forward for innovative financial solutions to the problem of loss and damage. 

The Road Ahead

There’s a lot still to do. The year ahead is filled with summits and conferences as the Talanoa dialogue continues. Emmanuel Macron is hosting the “One Planet” talks on Climate Finance next month. May 2018 is the deadline for nations to submit their information on pre-2020 action – so expect some interesting disclosures in the build-up to that. In the meantime, the threat to our coastal communities around the world continues to grow.

We can’t hold back the rising seas, only communal action on a global scale will do that. However, we can help you protect your property from floodwaters. At Flood Ark, we manufacture and install barriers for properties that are at risk from flooding. If you would like to know more about our products, please call +44 (0) 1603 879977 or email info@floodark.com.

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