08. Jan 2015

A new World Climate Change Agreement is to be signed in 2015

Starting point

Warming influences the climate in all parts of the world. “Climate change is man-made and can only be stopped by mankind. Each country must make its contribution.” (John Kerry, US Secretary of State, thus also announces an involvement of the US in the Climate Change Agreement).

After long-standing negotiations, a new World Climate Change Agreement, which goes beyond the Kyoto Protocol, is to be signed this year. However, there are still enormous challenges to be mastered.

Schedule for 2015:

  • February 08, 2015: climate negotiations in Geneva: preparatory work for the Climate Summit 2015
  • March 31, 2015: deadline for the announcement of all national CO2 reduction targets
  • May 31, 2015: scheduled presentation of the draft of the World Climate Change Agreement
  • November 30, 2015: start of the Climate Summit in Paris, fixing of the World Climate Change Agreement

 

Lessons learned

  • Since 2009, there have been relevant World Climate Summits organized by the UN (with non-committal declarations of intent). As early as 2009, a new agreement should have been concluded on the basis of the Kyoto Protocol, which expired in 2012.
  • In 2009, the World Economic Crisis significantly affected the readiness to make concessions in terms of climate protection.
  • In December 2015, the foundations for the house, at which more than 190 states have worked in the last few years, are to be laid in Paris.
  • Following the model of the climate negotiations in the Japanese Kyoto (18 years ago by now), a new agreement is to be imposed on the world community. This agreement is to regulate global climate protection in a uniform manner and requires fixed CO2 reduction targets from the states (the agreement is to enter into force in 2020).
  • Four years ago, the states agreed at the Climate Summit in Durban in South Africa to restrict global warming to two degrees as compared to the pre-industrial level.
  • Emission trading, the central instrument in Europe, quasi is out of operation (explanation: the companies concerned must hold a Certificate for each ton of CO2 emitted. Whoever restricts his or her emissions, can sell Certificates. Whoever emits more, will have to buy Certificates).
  • A generous distribution of Certificates has led to an oversupply and thus to a price decline. Instead of Euro 30, the amount expected, the ton of CO2 presently costs about Euro 7. Thus the system is ineffective (coal-fired power plants can be operated reasonably in economic terms).
  • In 2000, the UN Member States agreed upon eight goals for the new millenium. This year, the Millenium Goals are to be renewed. These goals include a reduction of child mortality and the provision of clean drinking water and development aid.

 

Conclusions and expectations

  • The problem: The more time goes by, the more expensive will the required actions become. Researchers have calculated worldwide total investment needs to the amount of Euro 33 billion by 2050.
  • From 2020, the industrialized countries are to support the developing countries by providing Dollar 100 billion a year (at the moment, the relevant funds amount to Euro 82 billion).
  • This year, the way funds and burdens will be distributed among the states will definitely become one of the big international topics of discussion. By late March, the states will have to announce how much CO2 they want to reduce by what time. Then there will be vigorous re-negotiations until the conference in Paris.
  • In this respect, the EU also has a need for action. As early as October 2014, the states agreed upon a common reduction target to the amount of 40 per cent (as compared to 2005).
  • In the EU, the emission trading system is to be repaired this year. Energy intensive industry and the utilities are not really enthusiastic about this.
  • In mid-August, the following situation will have been reached again: People have consumed so many resources as the planet provided throughout a year.

 

Summary

At the conference in Rio in 1992, the Framework Convention on Climate Change was passed (this convention was passed quarter of a century ago in 2017 – an average human generation is assumed to amount to 25 year).
The topic of climate change is very closely linked to energy generation and input. In 2005, the EU laid the foundations for the Energy Efficiency Directive by publishing the Green Paper on Energy Efficiency (keyword: 2020 Goals). On January 2015, § 9 of the EEffG (“Bundes-Energieeffizienzgesetz” (Energy Efficiency Act) – “Energiemanagement in Unternehmen” (Energy management within organizations) – entered into force (with a ten-year time lag to the Green Paper).

Whoever is patient, will be successful,” writes Matthias Sutter in his book “Die Entdeckung der Geduld – Ausdauer schlägt Talent” (“The Discovery of Patience - Endurance beats Talent”).

You never notice what has already been done. You always only see what still needs to be done.” (Marie Curie)

Author

Network partner

Mr. Wolfgang Hackenauer, MSc

Network partner, Product Expert Environment and Energy

Contact Persons Environment and Energy

Team

Mr. Axel Dick, MSc

Executive Vice President Business Development Environment and Energy, CSR

Network partner

Mr. Wolfgang Hackenauer, MSc

Network partner, Product Expert Environment and Energy

Network partner

Mr. Peter Sattler, MAS

Network partner, Product Expert FSC CoC, PEFC CoC and ISO 38200

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