WWF: Efforts promising, but no binding agreement expected at COP21

Öykü Altuntaş / Istanbul, Dec 9 () - The agreements on table signaling commitments of countries, regional governments and companies are promising particularly for tackling carbon emission problem and energy transition, however a binding agreement is not likely over the COP21 Climate Summit held in Paris, urged Samantha Smith, Leader of the WWF Climate and Energy Initiative.

Paris has been in intense talks for negotiations, while a lot of announcements were made from companies, financial institutions and cities, making a hopeful picture for the cut in use of coal and controlling emission of gas and oil, Samantha Smith told .

The joint effort of CDP, WRI, WWF and UN Global Compact have led to an agreement signed up by 114 companies showing commitment to set science-based emission reduction targets, including Coca Cola, Dell, Procter & Gamble and Sony. Also, producers of 20 percent of the world's oil and gas have showed ambition to reduce the greenhouse gas intensity, in coherence to the goal of limiting global warming to 2C.

On the other hand, according to Smith, “what we have on the table amid Paris summit is not enough”.

“We assume governments are going to implement the national commitment to cut emission but the bigger issue is whether the agreements are going to be legally binding” Smith said, while questioning whether commitments being made are enough.

Comparing to the international treaty of Kyoto protocol signed in 1997, “Kyoto was a binding agreement, applied to developed countries but not to developing countries. What we are going to get in Paris is an agreement mostly not binding, but that is going to apply one way or another to all countries” she added.

In this regard, despite the global efforts, the political will is not there to get an agreement on significants parts, she said.

“What countries are able to agree is influenced by geopolitics, disagreements in other issues, even if sides are mostly aware that climate change will have major impacts on all of us and the cost of adapting to these impacts is going to be significant” WWF stressed, adding countries have not been committing to things they can commit to.

On the other hand, Paris is not the last moment of this struggle and is an important summit, Smith added.

COP21 appears to have led away from the security agenda, which struck the G-20 Summit held in Antalya after the deadly Paris attacks claimed by the Islamic State. G20 leaders have “disappointed” climate campaigners with a weak statement, although most economies backed the 2C limit on global warming.

“Countries have been considering climate change as threat to national and global security, food system and access to water, thus more and more people who have to leave where they live” she said, underlining perception of climate change as threat to increase instability in certain countries.

However, right now the concern is that we must get down emission and help countries adapt to the impacts of climate change with measures and commit on financing developing countries, WWF said.


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