Starting November 29th until December 11th, Paris will be once again at the center of the stage of global affairs; this time, however, it will fortunately be for good. The 21st Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will take place. COP21 for friends.
Why is this COP so important, and why is it getting so much attention from media compared to the previous editions?
COP21 is in the spotlight because everyone is expecting the adoption of a new binding global agreement, which shall include all countries of the international community, from the industrialized and majorly responsible for CO2 concentration in the atmosphere ones (such as the United States and the European Union), down to the developing and emerging countries (such as Brazil, China and India), which have considerably increased their greenhouse gas emissions in the last few years. The ultimate purpose is to find an agreement that will allow to maintain the level of global warming within the 2°C threshold, as recommended by the scientific community.
To have more information on why the Paris COP is so central in the political and social debate, check out this short video.
For what concerns the Philippines, they are one of the countries that are most hardly hit by consequences of climate change. Natural hazards keep increasing over the years in both intensity and frequency, and the Philippines are experiencing ever growing disastrous events. The last of these has been Typhoon Haiyan, which struck the country exactly while the COP19 was taking place in Warsaw, two years ago.
Back then, the former Filipino delegate Yeb Sano brought the world to tears with his reflection on climate change and its consequences, inviting everyone to take action in order to bring about change, and avoid a dramatic climate crisis in the short-term.
The same Yeb Sano is today a great environmental activist, starting a movement named the People’s Pilgrimage, which will reach Paris by feet from Rome. You can follow his progress here.
If you are interested in what will happen in Paris in the upcoming weeks, you can keep updated by following the many formal and informal platforms that are following the event.