Warmer temperatures, both on land and at sea, are changing global weather and changing how and where precipitation falls. These changing patterns exacerbate dangerous and deadly droughts, heat waves, floods, forest fires and storms, including hurricanes. They also melt ice caps, glaciers and permafrost layers, which can lead to sea level rise and coastal erosion. Warmer temperatures also affect entire ecosystems, deterring migration patterns and life cycles. For example, an early spring can make trees and plants bloom before bees and other pollinators are born. While global warming may be akin to longer growing periods and increased food production in some areas, areas already facing water shortages are expected to become drier and create potential for drought, broken harvests or forest fires. Due to the effects of the new global coronavirus pandemic in 2020, the UNFCCC has postponed most of its major climate events to 2021, including COP 26. The COVID 19 pandemic has also undermined countries` efforts to present new NDPs or NDPs that expire in 2020. On 12 December 2020, the fifth anniversary of the adoption of the Paris Agreement, the United Nations, France and the United Kingdom, the President of COP 26, will jointly host a virtual global climate summit. National governments are invited to present more ambitious climate targets, “green” recovery plans for covid 19, new funding pledges and long-term decarbonisation targets.
In 1992, President George H.W. Bush joined 107 other heads of state at the Rio Earth Summit in Brazil to adopt a series of environmental agreements, including the UNFCCC framework, which is still in force today. The international treaty aims to prevent dangerous human intervention in the planet`s climate systems in the long term. The pact does not set limits on greenhouse gas emissions from individual countries and does not contain enforcement mechanisms, but establishes a framework for international negotiations on future agreements or protocols to set binding emissions targets. Participating countries meet annually at a Conference of the Parties (COP) to assess their progress and continue discussions on how best to combat climate change. The Paris Agreement reaffirms the obligations of industrialized countries to the UNFCCC; the COP`s decision attached to the agreement extends the target of $100 billion per year until 2025 and calls for a new target that, in addition, “extends over $100 billion a year.” The agreement also broadens the donor base beyond developed countries by encouraging other countries to provide “voluntary” support. China, for example, pledged $3 billion in 2015 to help other developing countries. In 1995, the contracting parties to the climate convention adopted texts with limited and non-binding effects, but which defined fundamental principles and objectives. The Kyoto Protocol, adopted in 1997 and weakened by the non-ratification of the United States and the withdrawal of Canada, Russia, Japan and Australia, set specific binding targets, including figures for industrialized countries, without quantifying the commitment of developing countries. The Copenhagen conference (COP15) recognized the need to limit the temperature increase to 2oC above pre-industrial levels and called for an increase in the resources of industrialized countries.