Climate is the set of long-term atmospheric conditions that has always been subject to being the consequence of different natural phenomena (volcanic eruptions, solar radiation, etc.). However, climate change has been occurring at an unprecedented rate for several decades. Scientific evidence points to human action as responsible for this acceleration, as a result of the generation of greenhouse gases (GHG) that accumulate in the atmosphere and retain heat, increasing what is known as the greenhouse effect, and contributing to an increase in global temperatures. This alteration of anthropogenic origin is what is known as "climate change". This term is often replaced by "global warming", as this is the main way in which humans are affecting the climate.
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) defines climate change as: "Changes in climate directly or indirectly attributable to human activity that alter the composition of the global atmosphere and that are superimposed on natural variability observable over equivalent time periods."
The term "greenhouse effect" refers to the retention of the Suns heat on the Earth by a layer of gases in the atmosphere. Without them life as we know it would not be possible, as the planet would be too cold (it would be about 30ºC lower). Most greenhouse gases are naturally occurring and are water vapor (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (N2O), methane (CH4) and ozone (O3). However, industrialization has caused the emission and concentration of these gases to increase exponentially since the beginning of the last century, when, without human action, nature was responsible for balancing emissions. By increasing these gases, we are changing the balance (called "radiative forcing "4 ) between the amount of energy entering the atmosphere and leaving it, so that the amount of infrared radiation accumulated by the earth is increasing. This leads to an increase in the temperature of the entire planet.
The anthropogenic emission of greenhouse gases (GHG) that accumulate in the atmosphere and retain heat is increasing what is known as the "greenhouse effect" and contributing to a rise in global temperatures with an effect that can last for many millennia before natural processes remove them from the atmosphere.
It influences directly and indirectly, through its impacts on natural and socio-economic systems:
Mitigation action is key: every tenth of a temperature increase avoided is important.
The Paris Agreement is an agreement within the framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change that sets out measures for the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In the Paris Agreement, 195 countries agreed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through mitigation, adaptation, and resilience. At the Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris, December 2015, and after 20 years of negotiations, 195 countries agreed to limit global warming by two degrees Celsius from the pre-industrial era. How? Reducing greenhouse gas emissions through mitigation, adaptation, and resilience.
Here are the nine most important key points of the Paris Agreement:
To keep the global temperature increase to well below 2 0C compared to the pre-industrial era and to continue efforts to limit it to 1.5 °C.
Reach peak emissions as soon as possible and thereafter rapidly reduce emissions to achieve carbon neutrality (zero net emissions).
All 195 countries report their national commitments to combat climate change. They come into force in 2020 and are reviewed every five years with the idea of increasing ambition.
Transparency framework common to all countries that includes information on emissions and investment contributions.
Countries will be able to use tools such as emissions trading and carbon pricing to incentivize emissions reduction activities.
Common but differentiated responsibility: developed countries must finance developing countries with at least $100 billion per year from 2020 for mitigation and adaptation.
Recognition of the need for support measures in the event of irrecoverable losses, although without specifying compensation.
The Paris Agreement is legally binding and national climate change targets are set by each country.
4 November 2016, 30 days after ratification by 55 Parties accounting for at least 55% of total GHG emissions.
17 goals to transform our world:
The Sustainable Development Goals are the blueprint for a sustainable future for all. They interrelate with each other and incorporate the global challenges we face every day, such as poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, peace, and justice. To leave no one behind, it is important that we achieve each of these goals by 2030.