Following the XXI Conference of the Parties (COP21), held in Paris from 30th November to 11th December 2015 and which concluded with the approval of 196 States (195 States + the European Union) for a new universal and binding agreement on climate to limit global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius, the Global Compact Network Italy Foundation organized the Meeting “COP21: And Then What?” for the benefit of both its adherents and non-adherents. This meeting was held on 17th December at the headquarters of Atlantia S.p.A. in Rome. The event was an important opportunity to study the outcomes of the Climate Summit in Paris and to discuss future scenarios.
After the welcome speech by Simonetta Giordani, Sustainability and Institutional Relations Manager – Atlantia S.p.A., the following experts on the topics spoke: Marco Frey, President - Global Compact Network Italy Foundation; Andrea Barbabella, Head of Energy, Strategy and Reporting - Foundation for Sustainable Development; Andrea Valcalda, Head of Sustainability - Enel S.p.A.; and Pierre Monnier, Climate Project Manager - Global Compact Network France.
The content of the meeting was further enriched by Francesco La Camera, Director-General for Sustainable Development and Relations with the EU and the IGO and Chief Negotiator for Italy in Paris - Ministry for the Environment, and Protection of Land and Sea, who shared the most significant passages of the negotiation phase that characterized the COP21 and reaffirmed the importance of the agreement signed in Paris while underlining the importance of the challenges that arise from it.
More generally, the debate that characterized the initiative was structured following the keypoints of the Paris agreement:
TARGET: the long-term goal is to stay "well below 2°C", putting in every effort to meet the much more ambitious limit of 1.5°C; the peak in emissions should be achieved as soon as possible, while allowing developing countries the opportunity to achieve it in the longer term.
FINANCE: developed countries will provide financial resources to support mitigation and adaptation in developed countries, and will communicate qualitative and quantitative information about this every two years; the declaration recognizes the importance of economic instruments for reducing emissions, including carbon pricing.
ASSESSMENT: all countries will regularly report back through a national inventory of emissions and removals of greenhouse gases; starting from 2023 countries will evaluate their progress towards the long term objectives of the agreement every five years and, if necessary, will review their commitments; in 2018 there will be an initial "informal" check and in 2020 all countries will have to submit a national strategy to achieve the targets they have voluntarily communicated.
TIMELINE: The agreement will enter into force when at least 55 countries who are collectively responsible for at least 55% of global emissions of greenhouse gases will have ratified that commencing April 2016.
During the meeting, it was established that the Global Compact Local Networks should play an important role in support of the goals set at the COP21. The Local Networks will be able to help achieve the ambitious objectives by promoting new commitment initiatives at a local level both individually and collectively, and by becoming agents to spread information and awareness on the issues within their spheres of influence.