Though many agree climate change, or "global warming",
is an existential threat, there is limited convergence on what
should be done to avert catastrophic temperature rises or adapt to
changing climate conditions.
After the 2009 Copenhagen conference failed to produce a global
agreement, the conference of parties (COP21) to the UN Convention
on Climate Change aims at delivering a worldwide climate agreement
to replace the Kyoto Protocol.
The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which
groups 195 nations (the "Conference of the Parties" or
"COP") recently met in Geneva in order to finalize the
draft text to be submitted to the next COP, set for Paris in
December 2015. The UN climate talks which started on the 8th of
February have ended with an agreement on a formal draft negotiating
text for the Paris summit. Much remains to be done.
Although the original idea was to streamline the 37 pages Lima
document of December 2014 encompassing a vast range of proposals
that could be agreed upon in Paris, the Geneva meeting ended up
with an 86-page draft, which will be the basis for negotiations
over the next few months leading to the Paris meeting.
The Geneva talks produced a text that listed a variety of
alternative approaches on most issues, reflecting conflicting
national priorities. The document mentions the general objectives
of the agreement, mitigation issues, capacities to adapt to the
impact of climate change, financing and technologies that will help
limit the increase of the average global surface temperature to no
more than 2° Celsius (3.6° Fahrenheit). The draft also
addresses the issues of transparency, support provided to
vulnerable countries and the implementation of and compliance with
One of the key elements is the nature of the commitments. Some
commitments will be quantified such as those regarding greenhouse
gas emissions reduction, based on the same mechanism as the goals
of the Kyoto Protocol, and others will give each country room for
maneuver in the way the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is
implemented. In that case, each country will adopt action programs
aimed at maintaining the increase of the average global surface
temperature. Therefore, the key political test will be the period
from March to June when Governments are expected to submit their
national plans to reduce emissions.
Some commentators are optimistic because of the constructive
spirit and the speed at which negotiators have worked during the
past week even though they deplore the lack of incentive to go
beyond the proposed targets.
If an agreement is reached in Paris, it would come into effect
in 2020 to replace the Kyoto Protcol and be intended to meet the UN
goal of limiting global warming to 2° Celsius over
pre-Industrial Revolution levels.
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In May 2015 the European Commission launched an e-commerce sector inquiry. In September 2016 the Commission published a preliminary report on the findings of the inquiry and interested stakeholders may make comments on the report until the middle of November. During the event the speakers will present the findings of the inquiry and analyze the identified competition concerns, which could have an impact on the European e-commerce market.
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