ANALYSIS-Despite slow start, Paris climate accord 'alive and kicking' on fifth birthday
(Reuters, 10 Dec 2020) Five years into the landmark agreement, governments and companies are pledging to cut emissions to net zero by mid-century but faster action is needed to meet its goals.
As the gavel went down on Dec. 12, 2015, signalling the adoption of the Paris Agreement on climate change, 5,000 people in the room jumped to their feet crying, embracing, clapping and stomping, then U.N. climate chief Christiana Figueres remembers.
"I have never heard as much ruckus as there, from people who usually protect their public decorum," she said. "It was just the most amazing moment."
Five years on, ahead of a "Climate Ambition Summit" to mark the anniversary of the deal, the Costa Rican diplomat said she remained optimistic about the chances of meeting the accord's goals to curb global warming.
Progress is happening "not as quickly as we want it to, but it is definitely moving forward", she told an online media briefing before Saturday's summit hosted by the United Nations, Britain and France.
A year before the Paris pact was sealed, she said, it seemed inconceivable that countries, corporations and investors would agree to cut their planet-heating emissions to net-zero by 2050.