Progress is being made at the United Nations Climate Summit in Paris, as negotiators are reportedly drawing close to resolving a major roadblock for a landmark emissions agreement. With the deal, there would be a five-year review period on promised greenhouse gas cuts.
Any agreement that is put into place would undoubtedly require regular intervals of regulatory policy reviews. A total of 185 countries worldwide have made the promise that they would work to prevent global temperatures from ever rising more than 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit on average.
But based on current pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions, this promise is unlikely to be kept. More emission cuts must be made to prevent the Earth from continuing to rise in temperature. There has been much debate over who exactly should make additional cuts.
Additionally, countries have largely been in disagreement as to how often such policy reviews should take place. While major polluters such as the United States, China and the European Union have supported five-year policy review periods, other countries such as India have been more reluctant to make such a commitment.
United Nations Climate Chief Christiana Figueres said, “It seems now there is a growing consensus that reviews will be every five years."
That being said, some details still need to be worked out. For instance, there needs to be a plan for helping developing countries cut back on emissions, and a long-term goal for eliminating all fossil fuels still needs to be established.
As for the issue regarding review periods, it is still unknown when they would initiate and what kind of sanctions would be placed on countries that fail to comply with regulatory standards. These issues are still being negotiated by climate experts worldwide.
Right now, the draft of such a major emissions agreement is over 50 pages long. There has indeed been much debate and conflict over this desperately needed deal. Luckily, there is still time for members of the United Nations to come together on an agreement. As of now, officials are optimistic that a deal can be completed before the end of the summit.