2015 Press Releases

ERI researchers showcase research at COP21

3 Dec 2015

“We are the first generation to fully understand climate change, and the last generation to have the opportunity to do something about it.” 

Both Ban Ki-moon and Barack Obama, repeated this message this week in Le Bourget, the site of the COP21 meeting in Paris. It seems that the message science has been saying for years has finally jumped to the political consciousness. This acknowledgement is a positive step forward, but if the science is clear, the politics and finance is not. The distribution of the future carbon budget across countries in proportion to their historical emissions is one of the core issues being negotiated in Paris: what is fair? who pays? what is just? 

Researchers from the Environmental Research Institute at UCC are hosting a side event in COP21 today (Thursday 3/12) where their research aims to provide some insights to these same questions on a global scale. Which countries/regions have already exhausted their equitable share of the global CO2 budget? Which countries/regions are likely to surpass their equitable budget in the near future? Which countries/regions are unlikely to ever fill their equitable proportion of the atmospheric commons? Which developed countries/regions should invest in developing countries/regions under the UN principles of responsibility and capacity? How much, and when?

The UCC research calculates a technically feasible, integrated global-energy-system which emits less than 1,000 billion CO2e between 2020 and 2100 and is consistent with global warming of less than 2˚C. This pathway calculates the amount of financial transfers between countries/regions to ensure an equitable macroeconomic impact based on UN principles of historical responsibility and capacity. Professor Ambuj Sagar, of the Indian Institute of technology in Delhi India, will outline the required frameworks needed for technology transfer from developed to developing countries. Amil-Lee Amin, Division Chief for Climate Change and Sustainability of the Inter-American Development Bank, will respond from the green finance perspective.

For more information about the Environmental Research Institute's work in this area and its involvement in COP21 visit https://www.ucc.ie/en/eri/eri@cop21/

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