Opinion: A successful COP21 will take us closer to a sustainable future

A successfulCOP21 could take us down
  the road to a sustainable future argues Phil Foster. Photo
credit: Boris Balabanov / The World Bank via Flickr.

By Phil Foster

This December sees the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) taking place in Paris, France to discuss the ever-pressing subject of global warming, with the aim of securing a universal and legally-binding agreement on climate change. If all goes according to plan, then the end of the two-week conference should see some solid targets and commitment from more than 150 countries towards achieving them.

The latest climate change targets expire in 2020, so at the very least Paris should hopefully yield some new aims for the next few decades. However, given the huge number of countries that are taking part in this conference, the difficulty is ensuring that each and every issue is addressed to keep every participant happy. We know that climate change isn’t going to be solved overnight, but what COP21 will hopefully achieve is a set of solid objectives that will take us closer to a more sustainable future.

Should an agreement be reached, we are likely to see a knock-on effect across the UK. It will mean that the government has to work harder towards making renewable energy sources more readily available to the masses, from building larger solar farms to making panel schemes more accessible. For everyone, from the private and public sectors to the rest of society, targets on sustainability will set new standards across the board, and we are likely to see a greater push towards encouraging everyone “to do their bit”.

However, reaching a commitment towards avoiding the two-degree increase in the earth’s temperature is a large step, one that is unlikely to be established without some opposition. One of the largest roadblocks likely to emerge from the conference in Paris is the subject of finance. Research and development into renewable energy sources cost money, something which poorer states will have very little to spare. As a result, it is likely that these poorer nations will ask the most developed countries to support them financially towards investment into clean technology, as well as adapting to deal with the damaging effects of climate change. While the subject will likely be broached in Paris, there will no doubt be a significant amount of debate over whether the responsibility should lie on the shoulders of richer governments, or if the World Bank should step in.

Phil Foster is a regular contributor at A greener life, a greener world and the CEO of businesses energy tariff comparison company Love Energy Savings. His strong desire to support UK SME’s make much needed savings on their energy bills. That’s why he created a business energy comparison service to help business owners not only improve their profits through savings but also save valuable time in the process of comparing and switching suppliers.

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