China's role in historic Paris agreement

By Sajjad Malik
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, December 17, 2015
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People hold a banner reading "If not now, when? If not here, where? If not us, who?" during the People's Climate March in Ljubljana, Slovenia, Nov. 29, 2015. People gathered in Ljubljana's Congress Square to participate in the People's Climate March ahead of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change scheduled to be held in Paris on Monday. [Photo/Xinhua]

Nearly two-weeks of hectic talks and consultations have finally come to fruition with a historic deal that will be long remembered as a joint giant step by the entire world to save the earth and the human race. Paris climate change agreement was on the cards since the mega conference began on November 30, but there were real differences over the draft of the text of the deal which needed to be addressed by consensus before at least 195 countries adopt it unanimously.

The agreement will come into being in 2020 and its success depends on voluntary actions committed by different countries. The final pact endorsed by the participants shows that the parties to the agreement pledged to keep the global warming below 2 degree centigrade by the turn of the century.

The agreement has been reached but as they say, the devil is in the details. In the case of the agreed climate deal, the details will come into play when the implementation process starts. First of all, the agreement will require approval of respective legislatures of the signatories in order to enter into force. Let us hope that whatever has been committed by the governments of the various countries will also be supported by the lawmakers back home.

We have the sordid example of the Kyoto protocol of 1997. The agreement was signed by the government of the Democratic Party but later on the Republicans under George Bush refused to abide by it and a great initiative was robbed of its steam. The situation is identical and the Democratic President Barack Obama endorsed the conference and the agreement. Let us hope that whoever wins the U.S. presidential elections next year will also support it and get it endorsed from the powerful Congress.

As far as the second biggest economy China is concerned, there is no fear as the commitments by the President Xi Jinping would have the backing of ruling Communist Party of China. With its centralized system and control, there is no going back on the international agreements once singed by the government of China.

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