GES: 7 years after the Paris agreement, actions still not up to par

GES: 7 years after the Paris agreement, actions still not up to the task

Seven years after the signing of the Paris agreement Paris, the actions taken to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are not up to the urgency, underlines a researcher.

The Copernicus service has released new data showing that “Overall, the past seven years have been the seven warmest on record, and by a clear margin. Within those seven years, 2021 ranks among the coolest years, alongside 2015 and 2018.” It’s all the same 1.1 to 1.2°C above the pre-industrial average of 1850-1900.

North America is one of the areas most affected by these increases in temperature. temperatures.

This report comes seven years after the famous Paris agreement, signed in 2015, where commitments were made to limit the rise in temperatures to 2°C and ideally to 1.5°C. “The accumulations of previous years and the effect of the gases lead to more and more warming. But what it tells us is to what extent the urgency that we tried to represent in Paris is not transmitted that much in the actions of governments, ”explains Bertrand Schepper, researcher at the Research Institute and Socioeconomic Information (IRIS).

There is a sense of theoretical climate urgency, but when it comes time to have actions that have effects, we do not want to harm either the economy or we are not ready to take the political risk. […] This continues to maintain an impact on rising temperatures.

Bertrand Schepper, researcher at the Institute for Socioeconomic Research and Information

CO2 and CH4

The report also notes that concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) continue to rise, with no signs of
slow-down. “Preliminary analysis of satellite data shows that the trend of steadily increasing carbon dioxide concentrations continued in 2021, leading to an annual world record.”

Mr. Schepper confirms that the pandemic has had a one-time effect on the reduction of GHG emissions, in particular due to containment measures and the reduction of the economy. Indeed, the year 2020 saw an average drop in these emissions, i.e. a drop of “around 7%”. But as of September 2020, the same upward trend resumed. “One would have thought with the pandemic that GHGs would have dropped drastically [in 2021], but that is not the case.”

Six years after the Paris agreement, the COP26 created an agreement between 100 countries for their actions to reduce emissions of methane (CH4), a gas more polluting than CO2, by 30% by 2030. Canada, he raised this target to 75%. “Make agreements to decrease, so much the better. […] The problem is that methane is largely linked to human activity and cattle culture. To achieve this reduction, the economy must be transformed. Don't think it's a magic bullet with one deal on methane, another on CO2 and another later. These are systemic solutions that will be effective,” says the researcher at IRIS.

Beware of the portfolio

When we talk about consequences, these are above all climatic. But Mr. Schepper indicates that we will be hit economically, because we must respond to natural disasters here and elsewhere. “It is going to be customary for banks and insurance companies to keep larger reserves for extreme catastrophes. Part of the inflation we are currently experiencing is directly linked to the fact that there have been problems in agriculture in Asian countries, but also here. The more we have these issues of global warming, the more it will affect our economy,” he notes.

Environment Canada will unveil its strategy by the end of 2022

The federal government is working on the development of Canada's first National Adaptation Strategy. “This strategy will establish a shared vision for climate resilience in Canada, identify key priorities for increased collaboration, and establish a framework to measure progress nationally. The government is committed to releasing this strategy by the end of 2022.”

The latest federal budget provides more than $3.7 billion to help protect Canadians everywhere from the impacts climatic conditions, says Environment Canada. The institution indicates that the resurgence of climate impacts requires an even more ambitious, strategic and cooperative approach in order to adapt to climate change and be more resilient.

“In 2021, the Government of Canada will committed to an increased target for emissions reductions by 2030 of 40 to 45 percent below 2005 levels and passed legislation to enshrine in law its commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050,” said Environment Canada spokesperson Brandon Clim. The next deadline concerns the presentation to the population of the emission reduction plan for 2030, in March 2022.

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