Elizabeth May MP attended the two weeks of the COP21 conference held in Paris, these notes are a summary of her conclusions from that meeting that she made public at the Town Hall on Salt Spring Island on January 8th.
The negotiations succeeded in a remarkable way, the major success being that we now have a legally binding agreement. In addition the new goal is to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees centigrade, a departure from the previous 2.0 degree target, this change was instigated by Catherine McKenna MP, the Canadian Minister for Climate Change and the Environment. The return of Canada to the list of countries committed to taking positive action on emissions was warmly welcomed by the other nations at the talks.
The agreement will be in force from 2020 with emissions targets reset every five years after that. Acknowledging that action needs to be taken before 2020 there will be a great deal of activity on going with a review of commitments in 2018. There is still a tonne of work to be done, not least by Canada, where we are committed to setting new emissions targets by the end of March this year, and we will have to have everything in place in order to sign the COP21 agreement at the UN by Earth Day (April 22nd).
There is a (worldwide) understanding that this is not just a climate issue, it is a survival issue, not only for the populations on low lying islands but for everybody.