The 21st United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21), which took place in Paris last December, set an historic precedent in global efforts to reduce climate change and mitigate its impacts.
On February 4th, the Barcelona Centre for International Affairs (CIDOB) and the Advisory Council for the Sustainable Development of Catalonia (CADS) invited four international experts to the Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site to exchange views regarding the implications of this new international framework agreement, offer advice on public policy in support of Paris targets, as well as mechanisms for implementation.
Under the title, “Climate futures: the road after Paris”, CIDOB researcher Luigi Carafa moderated a roundtable session with the participation of Teresa Ribera, Director of the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations in Paris (IDDRI); Miranda Schreurs, Director of the Environmental Policy Research Centre at Freie Universitat of Berlin; Josep Enric Llebot, Full Professor of Condensed Matter Physics at the Autonomous University of Barcelona and former Secretary of Environment and Sustainability for the Government of Catalonia; and Bert Metz, Former Mitigation Co-chair of the United Nations Intergovernamental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Advisor for the European Climate Foundation.
Although the Paris Agreement will not be suficient in itself to ensure a global temperature rise less than 2ºC (considered necessary to avoid major alterations in the earth’s climate system), the panelists coincided in the opinion that it is a very important step in the right direction, for many reasons. Nonetheless, Bert Metz emphasised the very small window of time remaining to reduce global CO2 emissions, and he highlighted the importance of civil society initiatives to pressure national governments to meet and go beyond the targets made public in Paris. He also pointed to the leadership of cities and regions as a source of hope and inspiration to achieve dramatic reductions in emissions.
An interview with Bert Metz was recently published in the Spanish newspaper El País.