On 12 December a global climate agreement was reached at COP 21 in Paris. The negotiating parties, with an aim to strengthen the response to the threat of climate change, agreed to keep the increase in the global temperature to “well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels” and to “pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C”. According to the agreement, all parties are obliged to submit nationally determined contributions, which constitute their non-binding mitigation pledges and which will be reviewed for progress every five years. Developed countries shall continue taking the lead, while the developing countries are encouraged to move towards economy-wide emission reduction targets “in the light of different national circumstances”. The treaty will enter into force after it is ratified by 55 countries that together account for at least 55% of the total global greenhouse gas emissions, which is expected by 2020.
The ceramic industry has been actively contributing to the achievement of global climate goals through investing in increases in energy efficiency and CO2 reduction and by innovating in more energy efficient products. It is participating in the EU ETS scheme with the largest number of installations in the EU (1,200) representing only 1% of total industrial emissions. Restoring an equal level playing field worldwide is essential for European manufacturing industries that compete globally, such as ceramics.
The Paris agreement ultimately sketches a path towards long-term universal climate ambitions and possibly actions. The full text of the agreement can be found here.