1.5°C Highlighted as Central Paris Achievement

A general view of participants during the 2015 Human Development Report. 18 January 2016. UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferré

From COP21 to COP22 – International Geneva’s Mobilization Continues

The inclusion of the 1.5°C goal in the Paris agreement was spotlighed by high level speakers at the public event From COP21 to COP22 – International Geneva’s Mobilization Continues organized by the Permanent Mission of France and the Permanent Mission of Morocco earlier this month. The event provided the UN and the international community in Geneva with the opportunity to discuss the outcomes of the Paris agreement adopted last December. It focused on how the agreement will impact the activities of international organizations based in Geneva and how these organisations will adapt their work plans to combat climate change.
H.E. Elisabeth Laurin, Ambassador of France, described COP21 as an unprecedented collective achievement, while Ambassador Phillipe Lacoste said “In the G20 meeting in June, the 2 degrees goal was not yet consensual, so reference to 1.5 degrees is a real success!” noting the powerful contribution of small states. Philippe Lacoste highlighted the importance of the 5 year review cycle for Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to increase ambition and reach the long term temperature goal.
Helen Clark, United Nations Development Program Administrator addressed the conference with her speech The Path to an Inclusive Sustainable Resilient Development (available here). Helen Clark said the level of ambition on the 1.5°C long-term goal was “one of the highlights of Paris,” describing her excitement as this issue came to the centre of the Paris talks. Noting the importance of rapid climate action, Clark added “Now we need action not intentions.”
Other speakers discussed the steps required to reach the 1.5 degree goal, with Michel Jarraud, WMO Secretary General emeritus, referencing the importance of the upcoming IPCC special report on the conditions of achieving 1.5°C and the impacts of this temperature increase. Inger Anderson, Director General of IUCN, said that reaching the 1.5°C target would require deep decarbonisation of our economies, highlighting the important role of ecosystems in this process.
Looking forward to COP22, Ambassador Mohamed Auajjar said the Moroccan presidency will be framed under the “Vision Marrakech 2016,” stating that “In COP22 we want to innovate, see action and make solutions.” Proceedings ended with COP22 labelled as the “action COP.”
View the Event Program (English and French, external link)
Photo Credit: UN/ Jean-Marc Ferré CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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