The twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) will take place from 30 November to 11 December 2015, in Paris, France. The conference objective is to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate. Being fully committed to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiating process, the Government of the United Arab Emirates announced through its submission to the UNFCCC its target to achieve 24% of low-carbon energy contribution by 2021 by implementing energy efficiency measures, feed-in tariff reforms and demand-side management initiatives. Furthermore, the Emirate of Dubai’s Clean Energy Strategy 2050 aims to provide seven per cent of Dubai’s energy from clean energy sources by 2020. It will increase this target to 25 per cent by 2030 and 75 per cent by 2050. The strategy consists of five main pillars: infrastructure, legislation, funding, building capacities and skills, environment friendly energy mix. Building on innovation, research and development, the UAE aims at illustrating itself as a leader in sustainability practices and will partake in the Conference of the Parties in Paris.
The international political response to climate change began at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, where the Rio Convention set out a framework for action aimed at stabilizing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHGs). The convention included the adoption of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which entered into force on March 21rst of 1994 and now has a membership of 195 parties. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is an international environmental treaty (also known as a multilateral environmental agreement). The ultimate objective of the Convention is to “stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system”. The main objective of the annual Conference of Parties (COP) is to review the Convention’s implementation. The first COP took place in Berlin in 1995 and significant meetings since then have included the COP3 in 1997 in Kyoto where the Kyoto Protocol was adopted. The Kyoto Protocol commits its Parties by setting internationally binding emission reduction targets. Other significant meetings include COP11 in 2005 in Montreal where the Montreal Action Plan was produced, COP15 in 2009 in Copenhagen where an agreement to success Kyoto Protocol was unfortunately not realised and COP17 in 2011 in Durban where the Green Climate Fund was created.
The Paris Climate Conference will rally world leaders around a common issue, as climate change needs to be addressed urgently and effectively. The increase in frequency and severity of climate-related disasters highlights the threat that climate change poses not only to ecosystems, but also to economic and social development. To ensure the planet can avoid the worst impacts of climate change, the global warming must be kept well below 2 degrees Celsius. The new global climate deal that will allow that scenario will have to come into force by 2020 and will be drafted in Paris from November 30th to December 11th.