2017, the year of the failure of the COP21

Photo: Patrik Stollarz Agence France-Presse
Last November, at the Conference of Bonn, in Germany, more than 15 000 scientists from 184 countries concluded that for the past 25 years, the response of humanity boils down to a failure of quasi generalized.

Hardly was it to be accepted as we knew the Paris Agreement moribund. But the year 2017 is coming to fruition for the political failure of the COP21. And this is not only under the effect of the non-compliance of the us signature by Donald Trump.

The enthusiasm of 2015 was not there in the end of 2017. In turn, the COP23 then the One Planet Summit have highlighted the political leadership of circumstances. Even the new French presidency, showing his willingness to take the head of the movement after the withdrawal of the second polluter of the planet took the shape of a opportunism climate.


Showing a balance in half-tone after a couple of days of meetings and discussions feeding of the initial expectations of concrete progress, the Conference in Bonn, Germany, has ultimately served as preparatory to the COP24, expected in December 2018 in Poland. The contrast was striking. The president of the French Republic sounded the alarm : “The irreversible threshold has been crossed. “Also, the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, who presided over the first COP in 1995, admitted to being in a cul-de-sac policy, amplifying its difficulties in overcoming the problematic of the appeal of Germany to the coal.


And then, the One Planet Summit, Emmanuel Macron was pounding the key phrases. “We’re not going fast enough and that’s the drama. It may not mean that we do not know. “To continue :” which will save the climate, these are more big summits, diplomatic classics, it is a mobilization of all the days. “Shortly after, France became the first country to declare the end of oil French in 2040. He was accused, however, borrow the symbolic pledging to immediately stop the search for oil and gas and to stop all production, which is not supplied finally, only 1 % of its national consumption. Another goal, of reducing to 50 % the nuclear power in its energy mix, has had to be postponed until after 2025.


Turn climate


Beyond the political rhetoric, the summit in paris in December was the opportunity to accelerate the shift to climate finance. The world Bank has taken the lead in announcing cease funding the upstream operations of the oil and gas industry after 2019. A matter of a billion dollars per year well-received, however, it should be put in the perspective of the 825 billion invested by 2016 in the energy and fossil fuels sectors to high emissions of GHG were estimated by the UN secretary-general, António Guterres, at the COP23. Not to mention all the direct and indirect subsidies to fossil energy.


Conferences and summits over summits and conferences, one sees the difficulty of moving from talk to action. Gestures truly holders that will transcend the limited ambition of the COP21. Last November, more than 15 000 scientists from 184 countries concluded that for the past 25 years, the response of humanity boils down to a failure of quasi generalized. “Not just humanity, has failed to make sufficient progress to address these environmental challenges announced, but it is very disturbing to see that most of them are greatly compounded. “


Shortly before, new scientific reports confirmed the imminence of the climate crisis. According to the world meteorological Organization, the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere has reached a record level in 2016. And then the united Nations Programme for the environment and warned against the weakness of the commitments of GHG emissions reduction. A situation which, if not corrected quickly, may result in the planet on a trajectory of climate simply “catastrophic” : a warming of at least 3 °C by 2100, could you read in The line of Duty.


Question to conclude this hard year for the diplomacy of climate, and the philosopher and specialist in sustainable development Harvey L. Mead launched his book Too late. The end of one world and the beginning of a new one. Without giving in to the doom and gloom or pessimistic sterile, and the author claims to want to oppose an “optimistic” task inertia ideological current.


He also believed that it is impossible to maintain the growth paradigm as we remember. A paradigm is wanting, however, firmly rooted, that demonstrate in particular that a low-growth comes to halt the transformation of “sustainable” modes of production and consumption rather than speed it up. Or that the obtaining of eco-efficiency has rather the effect of increasing the quantities produced and consumed.