SPC hopeful for COP 21
Scientists at the Secretariat of the Pacific Community have joined a growing global voice urging world leaders to come up with an ambitious agreement to address climate change at Paris COP21 in December.
Scientists at the Secretariat of the Pacific Community have joined the growing global voices urging world leaders to come up with an ambitious agreement to address climate change at Paris COP21 in December.
SPC Coastal Zone Management expert, Raphaël Billé told Koroi Hawkins anything more than the recommended 2 degree target for temperature increase by the end of the century would render all ocean protection and management processes in the Pacific useless.
Raphaël Billé: If you look at this worst case scenario to the end of the century, as I said, any ecosystem, any marine ecosystem or any marine organism that you look at will already struggle to grow, to reproduce, to feed and it will have far-reaching consequences for all the societies of the Pacific. There is a very important point, if we compare the ambitious scenario with the business-as-usual scenario is that the management options that we have in hand, the things that people can do to cope with the impacts of climate change are really between the two categoric stands between the two, meaning the tender first two degree scenario there are plenty of things we can do. For example, to help ecosystems be resilient in the oceans, if we protect them from other threats, for example marine protected areas, we know they will be more resilient to climate change. And the business-as-usual scenario which leads us to something like first four degrees celcius by the end of the century. Pretty much all the options that we have will be inefficient or at least highly uncertain probably much more closely so for example, to take the same example, creating marine protected areas or coral reefs and our first four degrees scenario will be basically pointless.
KOROI HAWKINS: Do you have much hope for COP21? Do you think this will be the COP that actually brings out some concrete action and agreement?
RB: I am hopeful, clearly. If we are not hopeful with this COP, I don't know what other alternatives we have so I am very hopeful. As you said, there are many reasons to be skeptical in a way. I wouldn't say that we haven't been able to go to reach a legally binding agreement because the climate change convention itself is a legally binding treaty and the protocol was as well. The thing that we don't have and we never have this far is an ambitious agreement that is inclusive of all the countries in the world and that's truely what we need to get from Paris.
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