Road to the Paris 2015 Climate Change Summit
On 30th November, the 21st United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris (COP21) will begin and run until December 11th 2015. This upcoming conference on climate change is being viewed as crucial, as it aims to create a new international agreement for all countries, with the goal of keeping global warming below 2°C.
Paris 2015 will be the largest diplomatic event ever held within France, and it will also be one of the biggest climate conferences to be organised. Around 40,000 representatives will attend and there will be a variety of important issues discussed. As the host country, France has two responsibilities which are: providing the best possible working environment, transport and accommodation and reviewing any discussions or negations between countries to make sure they can progress in a smooth manner. The main issues of the conference are:
- To reach a universal legally binding agreement with the aim of keeping global warming below 2°C in order to effectively challenge climate change;
- Each country must present their own national contribution, including its national effort;
- Also another key goal is for developed countries to put forward $100 billion per year starting from 2020.
Before the 2015 Paris United Nations Climate negotiations begin there some ways in which you can get involved. Keep Scotland Beautiful has an online survey that aims to find out what people in Scotland think about the upcoming conference. Also Stop Climate Chaos Scotland has organised the Scotland Climate March that will take place on Saturday 28th November in Edinburgh.
What is Climate Change?
Climate change is a serious issue, and the negotiations that will take place in Paris aim to combat it. Keep Scotland Beautiful discusses climate change and the affect it has on our environment. The name ‘Climate Change’ is used to describe climate patterns that have taken place over the last several decades. Human activities such as travel, making things and producing energy, release excess greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. This then heats up the planet and cause changes in the climate. In 2011 it is estimated that Scotland released 60 megatons of greenhouse gases. Climate change can be seen in changing weather patterns. These changes can impact flooding, growing crops or habitats of animals.
What can you do?
Scotland has been actively involved in challenging climate change. In 2009, the Climate Change (Scotland) Act was passed, putting in place plans involving climate change adaptation and sustainability as w,ell as emission reduction targets. Emission targets for Scotland are annual. Since 1990, an interim target for 2020 was set for a 42% reduction of greenhouse gases (GHG), whilst targets for 2050 were set to an 80% reduction in GHG.
Climate change can also be challenged on community level which can be seen through the actions of community groups and individuals. This is where Greener Kirkcaldy comes in, with projects on raising awareness of climate change, waste, energy, food and transport.
You can also make changes as an individual. Here are some examples from Keep Scotland Beautiful:
- Reducing your food waste can help reduce carbon emissions while also saving you money. When buying food, plan for what you need and any left overs could be used for creating new meals;
- Consider different methods of travel – you could walk or cycle instead of taking the car. However if you need the car you may wish to consider looking into different fuel efficient driving techniques.
- Looking into your energy use will also help the environment and help you save money. Small actions such as turning off lights in rooms you are not in or making sure electrical appliances are not on standby. Bigger decisions may include installing a new boiler or insulation.
While these actions may seem small together they can make a difference. Greener Kirkcaldy can help. Come along to one of our Too Good To Waste events to learn skills to reuse and repair and reduce items going to landfill, book a free home energy advice visit to find out how you could reduce energy use in your home, or book on to one of our free fuel efficient driver training days and learn how to reduce your fuel consumption. We can also offer climate change and food waste talks and workshops to your groups.|