Are there really conditions and will to address climate change?

After spending more than two decades of climate summits, including the Earth Summit and the Kyoto Protocol, and twelve months of intense diplomatic efforts to reach a climate agreement, finally, since mid-December 2015, one of the most important achievements of the UN was that in Paris 195 countries agreed and signed a pact in favor of climate.

Faced with the constant threat of climate change for humanity itself and for the planet, the chief executives, international organizations, specialized organizations, investors and entrepreneurs and acknowledged pokesperson on this topic, among others, have gradually been showing great concerns over the issue of greenhouse gases.

The paradigm is clear, we have to slow the steady increase in gas emissions and reduce it into two levels, which are reduce greenhouse gas emissions caused by humans, such as energy production and agricultural activities, and those emissions that can be captured by natural or technological means. All with the goal of keeping the global average temperature well below two degrees Celsius with respect to the pre-industrial levels, to avoid the most drastic impacts that these effects may have.

The paradigm is clear although broad in the sense that in 2018, two years before the agreement takes effect, the signatory Countries will evaluate the impact of their initiatives. Those developed countries will be the most closely watched because they are taking the lead, while developing countries will be watched to see how much they have been able to mobilize their efficiency and environmental policies to reach some basic achievements. Countries will be subject to revision every five years, starting in 2023.

Beyond highlighting who, what, objectives and practical benefits, among many others, what is not clear and is probably the weakest point of the agreement is that it doesn’t specify what are the systems, processes, initiatives, models and practices to follow the climate pact, leaving freedom and decision to each government. Of course this agreement provides a framework that each country should follow from their own initiatives and inherent to their geography, natural resources, infrastructure, industrial needs, issuing agents of greenhouse gases and volume of the issue, among others.

To ensure that the objectives are met, there will not be sanctions, but there will be a compliance committee, which will design a transparent mechanism to ensure that the signatory countries are complying with the guidelines. The question one asks is whether the developing countries will comply by having to design their own policies and considering it has been twenty years since we began to talk about the climate pact.

The signing of this covenant involves certainly for all signatory countries, whether developed or not, implies evidently an impact and challenge for investment, since according to Bloomberg a total investment of 15 billion euros in renewable energy and efficiency policies will be required.

However, more worrying is that human being, as an individual does not realize that we are part of the climate change with simple irruptions on the environment and natural scenery and tends to look at the situation as something alien or which only concerns the governments, the businesses and the industrial sectors.

On the other hand in the country, an appropriate juncture is given so that the Dominican Republic, through partnerships between the public and private sector, raise and design their efficiency policies in favor of changing the direction of this effect at least in the national territory.

A country where natural wealth is so diverse and unique should think about how it will face the effects of climate change, mainly, the basic issues of those industries that emit most gases. Although collaterally since facing natural situations such as drought or excessive rain or extreme heat, and with regard to development issues such as the irruption of natural capital with multiple buildings which do not include environmental sustainability standards in their business plan and development or in the existing urban infrastructure. Although above all, we should ask ourselves how the Dominican Republic is achieving ‘factual’ consciousness in society so it really understands which are the effects and what will be the most drastic scenario if it does not take this factor into account as an intrinsic part of the daily live.