COP22: the international climate change round-up

The 22nd edition of the UN Conference of Parties (COP22) has come to an end; a two-week long conference in Morocco, where members of the United Nations gathered to discuss strategies to tackle climate change.

Marrakech was the host city for the 22nd edition of the Conference of Parties. Following on from last year’s historic COP21 event in Paris, member states at this years’ discussions came together with renewed purpose after the ratification of the Paris Agreement.

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The Agreement has given impetus to the issue of climate change, and calls on all member countries to implement robust strategies which will slow the process of global warming. The ultimate aim is to restrict warming to safe levels; the scientific community are almost unanimously agreed that a global rise of 2° Celsius would have disastrous consequences. As such, member states are hoping to restrict a temperature rise to 1.5° C.

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Galvanised by such robust but necessary targets, as well as by the ambitious renewable energy structures already in place in Morocco, UN members gathered to discuss some of the challenges they face, as well as proposing new solutions to issues which will arise in the future and calling for urgent action from all UN member states.

However, the new US president-elect Donald Trump allegedly believes that climate change is a hoax and has shown opposition to the Paris Agreement. As such, trying to foster the necessary political will is arguably one of the prominent challenges the global community faces in the battle against climate change.

Another prominent challenge the international community faces is in the transition to a low-carbon transport network. While the move from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources has been a gradual one, the issue of transport is likely to be even more problematic, as there are huge infrastructural challenges to overcome due to the fact that most transport networks are reliant on oil-based fuels.

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However, there are positive developments on this front; the conference confirmed that action is being taken to ensure a reduction in transport-related emissions, with a number of airports around the world now certified as carbon neutral.

Alongside this, the BBC have reported that the use of electric car charging points across Scotland has more than doubled over the last year, with more than 3500 electric cars registered in Scotland. The news, combined with the investment dedicated to improving cycling infrastructure in London and other cities across the country, demonstrates that the UK public are taking the issue of low-carbon travel seriously, despite the challenges.

To catch up with everything that took place over the course of the conference, head to their website.

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