Paris will be hosting the 21st Session of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Nov. 30-Dec. 11. The short name is COP21, or the Paris Climate Summit. Approximately 196 countries are parties to COP21.
The UNFCCC acknowledges the existence of human-caused (anthropogenic) climate change, and charges industrialized countries with most of the responsibility to combat it.
The goal of COP21 is to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius by 2100. While many scientists and other climate experts believe that a 2-degree increase in global warming is likely dangerous and will result in increased environmental deterioration, anything above that likely puts much of life on Earth in jeopardy. The climate has already warmed .85 degrees since 1750. Some of the warming that has already occurred is “locked in,” resulting in at least a 1.5 degree increase, per a 2014 World Bank report. The impact of climate change is already being felt.
If we don’t take immediate, dramatic action, we could hit 3-5 degrees of warming by 2100. Stay tuned. Our future is at stake.
Alyson R. Martin, JD, Boise