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Blogs / CityLinks / COP 21 Review and the role of the US

COP 21 Review and the role of the US

Days before the final resolution from the COP21, Secretary Kerry announced the US’s compromise to assist developing nations adapt to climate change. This compromise is backed financially. Grant-base resources are to double up by 2020. The Secretary explained that as of 2014 the United States had invested more than $400 million per year in grant-based resources for climate change adaptation in developing countries.  

The universal approach for climate goals disrupts outdated categories of developed and developing countries and ignites the collective commitment for all countries to prepare and be successful in the process of Climate Change Adaptation. Even as a non-binding agreement, this approach allows countries to set their own carbon emission limits and encourages climate success through nationally determined climate targets.

One breakthrough commitment was established to set up an inventory of the produced greenhouse gases and their source. This initiative seeks to track progress and develop strategies to assist developing countries move forward. In addition, multilateral reviews will be set in place to ensure transparency, encourage collaboration and exchange best practices. Five year target cycles were set to have countries communicate target goals, and stay on track.

$100 billion dollars are committed to mobilize the transition of developing countries to a low-carbon economy. The Paris agreement ensures that high emission countries, including China will, financially contribute to climate finance. As mentioned, the United States led the initiative to mobilize financial assistance that will assist developing countries in their effort to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

A few components of the agreement were based on the United States’ impulse for public and private resources to support climate change adaptation and mitigation activities. Mission Innovation was launched on the first day of the conference as an initiative to encourage financial backing from said sectors for the promotion of clean energy innovation.

Moreover, CityLinks recognizes sub-national governments’ agreements and efforts to provide complementary actions. 117 US mayors signed the Compact of Mayors Pledge, stablishing a standardized measurement of emissions, climate risks, and reliable reporting.  This initiative supports our efforts and pilot programs to continue our city exchanges and partnerships focused around climate change adaptation, food security and water resources. The significance of this pledge gives our program legitimacy and contributes to the success of our ongoing partnerships.

Paris’ agreement gathered global consensus to keep the planet’s average temperature well below 2 degrees Celsius. It provides hope for the younger generations. Nonetheless, a group that will have to work harder to make sure that we follow through. Another important development to highlight is the attention and inclusiveness given to developing countries throughout the process in the attempt to avoid previous criticism regarding paternalism and dependency. 

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