Two weeks of intense negotiations at the Paris Climate Conference have ended with a historic, far-reach agreement that could lead to a global shift to a low-carbon economy. In accordance with the treaty adopted Saturday night, Dec. 12, 2015, governments around the world will take steps to limit global warming to below 2o Celsius, and will pursue efforts to limit temperatures increases to 1.5o.
The agreement stipulates that nearly all 195 Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), except for the poorest countries, will be required to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Until now, under the Kyoto Protocol, only developed countries were required to reduce emissions. Massive emitters such as China and India did not fall into this category, and thus were not obligated to take part in the global effort to prevent climate change, and to combat the severe consequences of global warming. Israel was also not considered a developed country under Kyoto.
Israel to do Its Part in Global Effort
Israel has committed to reduce per capita greenhouse gas emissions to 7.7 tCO2e (tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent) by 2030. This constitutes a reduction of 26% below the 2005 GHG emissions level. Israel’s official GHG emissions reduction target was submitted to the UNFCCC Secretariat on Sept. 29, 2015.
Environmental Protection Minister Avi Gabbay: "The new agreement consolidates and regulates the global action plan to combat the threat of climate change, in addition to the necessary steps each country must take.
From the start of negotiations, Israeli representatives were involved in drafting the new agreement. Prime Minister Netanyahu came together with world leaders to the opening of the conference. I participated later, and met with, among others, Todd Stern, the U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change, who led talks at the conference.
This agreement marks business opportunities for investors and for markets, related to the fields of energy efficiency, renewable energies, and alternatives to polluting fuels. Israel can take a significant part in the development of new, breakthrough that will help the world reach the targets that were agreed upon in Paris.
The Israeli government decided on greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets that are part of our global commitment to the agreement. The important stage is the implementation, and in that regard we are advancing. Most of the implementation is focused on reducing our use of coal, significantly increasing our use of renewable energy, energy efficiency, and a significant reduction in the pollution created by transportation in Israel."
Major Elements of the New Agreement
The new agreement includes general obligations for all 196 Parties (195 countries and the European Union).
- Mitigation/reducing GHG emissions: Every country (other than the poorest ones) will have to submit to the UNFCCC Secretariat a national GHG emissions reduction target, that will take effect from the year 2020.
- Adaptation: The agreement stipulates that Parties must set a global target for adaptation to climate change, in order to strengthen each country’s ability to reduce dangers to its residents. Learn more about climate change adaptation in Israel.
- Transparency: In order to ensure effective implementation by countries of their national GHG emissions reduction plans, a mechanism will be set up that will obligate countries to report both quantitative and qualitative steps in their climate programs.
- Finance: A fund has been established that will allow for the transfer of funds from developed countries to developing countries, so that developing countries can implement mitigation and adaptation steps.
- Technology: A framework will be set up to promote training and guidance in the field of climate technologies, and to transfer technologies to countries that are lacking in them.
- Global Stocktake: Parties will assess their progress periodically in order to ensure that their global actions are moving them toward their ultimate objective, and to see if revisions of their plans are necessary. The first global stocktake will likely take place three years after the agreement takes effect, and likely every five years after that.