The 12th of December marks the day a new global agreement to tackle Climate Change has been approved at the last session of the 21st Conference of the Parties, held in Paris in 2015. Promoted by the United Nations, COP is a yearly meeting where global policy makers, businesses and civil society gather to discuss and agree how Climate Change mitigation should be tackled globally.

With the Kyoto protocol coming to an end, and the global GHG emissions not being reduced but increased, bolder commitments were needed to tackle the global problem that impacts not only the current generations but also future ones. Whilst with the Kyoto protocol nations’ commitments are voluntary, with the Paris Agreement, once ratified, nations are obliged to comply with it. In doing so, committed nations work towards the achievement of global sustainable development, ensuring Climate Change risks are mitigated and future generations do not have a deferred dream.

As mentioned in my first entry in this blog, the GHG emissions have been raising considerably in the Anthropocene. Human’s activity has accelerated since the first industrial revolution. As knowledge and science evolve, we became more aware of the negative impact of our actions. As rational beings, many of us are attempting to mitigate that impact so we all can enjoy the beauty of our living #Planet, and so may the future generations. But a higher #wellbeing can only be achieved with a joint effort from us all, is time for #ActionforClimateEmpowerment. With that in mind, the Paris Agreement has been promptly ratified by leading nations. Not a surprise that last year many nations, businesses and civil society were very upset with the USA withdrawal by its 45th president, in a backward harmful movement on what had been achieved globally and in that country with under the 44th president leadership. Thankfully the joint action of leading nations, businesses and civil society managed to exercise the right pressure for the USA to re-join the Paris Agreement commitment.

What can each of those forces do to help reach the Paris Agreement goals and eventually limit global warming to a maximum of 2ºC, ideally 1.5ºC?

Nations:

1. Promote a regulatory environment fostering a sustainable transition towards a carbon-neutral and climate-resilient economy, where all integrating parts of its system are incentivised to create and/or adopt radically innovative solutions and new behaviours.

2. Communicate and closely monitor the roadmap milestones achievement, as monitoring is key to understand how successfully is each country executing its roadmap.

3. Measure the impact of those new policies and regulation

4. Assess if and how each nation’s NDCs are being achieved. In doing so, we assess how each country is progressing and the World as a whole is caring for the Planet we inhabit.

Businesses:

1. Integrate sustainability in your investment criterion. Invest in low carbon assets, technologies, processes, activities which consume resources responsibly and release low or neutral carbon emissions. For example, Bloomberg recently announced that some private investors have been investing in climate related assets receiving an eight-fold return on the investment they made.

2. Innovate in your processes, operations and activities.

3. Incorporate Sustainability in your business model and request the same through your value chain. Positively influence your stakeholders to take bolder actions in this joint-effort, collaborating in the Action for Climate Empowerment.

4. Make a public commitment about your goals, establish SMART KPIs and report them minimum yearly.  Evaluate and learn from past, improving the subsequent years.

Individuals:

Change your lifestyle to a more sustainable one, where a responsible consumption is integrated in their decision-making criterion. For example:

1. Change your consumer behaviour. Instead of buying new clothes each season and throwing out the previous season’s, individuals can reuse previous seasons a bit longer, can recycle or donate them so others can reuse, if in good conditions. If each individual buys responsibly, the aggregated level of responsible purchase demands less resources to be extracted from the Planet. In doing so, the atmospheric emissions released reduce and consequently, we can limit the atmospheric average temperature.

2. Optimise the individual trips by car – the short trips to do a few things are time consuming and environmentally unfriendly. When possible consider concentrate those trips into blocks of times that you can do more things with one trip. It’s more time efficient and environmentally friendly. Consider also carsharing or changing ICE fossil fuels powered vehicles for EV’s or clean hydrogen, where available.

3. Instead of consuming big portions of food, consider taking smaller portions and healthier food. As the more food we consume the higher the emissions released from the soil.

4. Reduce the waste you generate and separate it.

It has been 5 years since the Paris Agreement approval, shown in this blog picture, whose credit is for Arnaud Bouissou. World awareness has increased significantly. This is shown by the number of companies that have made public commitments on investing sustainably and whose words have been accompanied with actions, by the number of people willing to purchase and consume sustainably and the governments that have been promoting a transition to renewable energy generation as well as the countries whose activity has been powered by such energy, as Portugal and Costa Rica. France has been a long champion in clean energy, although many are unaware of its clean energy mix. A big round of virtual applause to all of them. Is great to see so many great examples of #ActionforClimateEmpowerment. However, they are not enough! We need to carry on with our sustainable transformation. Do not be shy in your actions. #TimeForAction for your benefit and the benefit of everyone as well as the future generations.

What actions are you taking to contribute in attaining the Paris Agreement goals? If you or your organisation would you like my help to design a sustainable actionable plan, please reach out.

4 Comments on “Celebrating the Paris Agreement

  1. The Paris Agreement was a great achievement in that it finally allowed us to gain some consensus about the need for action. It doesn’t seem to have actually made countries act though. Hopefully in the next agreement there will concrete steps laid out which will make countries lower their emissions rather than voluntary targets.

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    • Some countries have progressed, although it has not been enough as many forecasts show. If this pace of change remains, the 1.5ºC warming scenario won’t be reached. More action is indeed needed, not only from those that already taking the lead but also from those who have been slower.

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