The COP22 Conference – a summary

Every year, nearly two hundred nation gather to work on the issues of climate change. The 22nde Conference of Parties (or COP 22) is taking place in 2017 in Marrakech. These international summits are often full of hope and good intentions. Each year, a great compromise promising to change the world is signed by most of the countries, including the great powers and polluters, and almost everybody goes home satisfied.

That said, these revolutionary measures rarely come into practice. After signing the charter, they  have to go through parliament (in the case of most democracies), where they may or may not be ratified. Which is why, for example, the United States never ratified the Kyoto Protocol, even though they had signed the treaty.

So nearly a year after the COP 21, which took place in Paris, how many countries actually ratified the treaty? Well out of the 193 signatories, 114 have ratified the agreement (78.96% of global emission), and are enforcing the measures, or will enforce them soon enough. That includes China and the United States, the two major polluters of the world. This made the Paris agreement a huge success.

However, because of Donald Trump’s recent election to the presidency of the US, many countries have been fearing for the possible progress toward a greener world. President-elect Trump has openly said that he believes that climate change is a hoax created by China. And many fear that he will not only stone wall any progress during the COP 22 summit, but possibly also repeal the COP21 agreement.

Today, the nations investing the most in proportion to their GDP in green energy and protection of the environment are third world countries. Notably the small pacific island nations, or several African and South American countries. Why? Because they are those who suffer the most from this violent climate change. Every year islands are entirely submerged by the sea, and whole countries, such as Fiji, might disappear. In Africa or South America, the climate change is causing a terrible drought which is destroying the agricultural industry in these countries, and reducing the access to clean water.

Today, most of the world’s problems, whether they are famine, war, or disease, can be linked in a way to climate change. Those who pollute the most rarely suffer the most from that pollution. And still today, people deny the existence of climate change. Many wonder if the progress made during the COP 21 will be undone during the COP 22. In other words, we have a long way to go, and not so much time to do it.

by Pierre-Alexandre