Climate Change: Towards Paris with some anxiety

European Population grew by about 30 million during the last decades. In the meantime the number of cars rose by around 84 million. Transports sector is the only one where the greenhouse gas emissions increased since 1990 and it represents also the main cause of pollution, especially in urban areas. However  technologies have significantly reduced emissions of air pollutants in spite of traffic growth .

The Eiffel Tower is seen at sunset in Paris, France, November 9, 2015. The capital will host the World Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21) from November 30 to December 11. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

In 2013, around 6.465 billion passengers-kilometres were transported  in motor vehicles. That’s what appears in a study of the European Parliament .

EU Governements recent decisions on cut emissions, even after the Volkswagen scandal, seem to be in favour of the industries. Indeed, the Council established that emissions limits will have to be observed from 2017 only by new cars models, while for the old ones the limit will be from 2019, with the possibility to don’t follow the limits for other five years.

Climate change during last decades

According to the data reported by  the European Commission, CO2 contained in greenhouse gas produced by human activities represents 64% of men-made global-warming: its concentration in atmosphere is currently 40% higher than it was when industrialisation began. Between 1990 and 2014, the global warming increased  by 36% because of  long-lived greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) according to World Meteorological Organization (OMM).

Furthermore, the global temperature it is 85% higher than it was in the late 19th century. The world's leading climate scientists think human activities are almost certainly the main cause of the warming observed since the middle of the 20thcentury. It raises concern the fact that an increase of 2C° compared with the temperature of pre-industrial time is seen as threshold beyond which there is a much higher risk that catastrophic changes will occur in the global environment, according to scientists.

The international community has recognised the need to keep warming below 2°C.

Towards Paris climate conference

Between November 30 and December 11, there will be the Climate summit in Paris.  EU position and main goals for Paris agreement according to the Council conclusions last September: provide a clearly defined pathway to achieve the below 2°C objective. Global greenhouse gas emissions need to peak by 2020 at the latest, be reduced by at least by 50% by 2050 compared to 1990 and be near zero or below by 2100 (( .

On the other hand, NGOs lauched campaigns toward Paris Conference. The international organization CIDSE asks that the Paris agreement will move towards a 100% renewable energy future with sustainable energy access for all and et a goal for complete decarbonisation by 2050 ( ).

In the meantime, the European Union is on track toward meeting and overachieving its 2020 target for reducing greenhouse emissions by 20%, according to a report by the European Environment Agency (EEA). Indeed, emissions decreased by 23% between 1990 and 2014 and Europe is heading to 24% or 25%  by 2020. Emissions cut around 40% by 2030 will probably be the new goal for EU.

"These results speak for themselves: Europe succeeded in cutting emissions by 23% between 1990 and 2014 while the European economy grew by 46% over the same period. We have shown consistently that climate protection and economic growth go hand in hand" EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said. 


Write a comment for the Article