Climate Change in 20 Questions and Answers

Chapter 1 of the Research Paper entitled Practical Guide to the Economics of Climate Change: The Paris Conference and Its Aftermath.

A lot of ink has been spilled over the past several years already regarding the Paris Climate Change Conference that will take place from November 30 to December 11, 2015. The results of the negotiations at this conference will have a considerable impact on the world energy picture in the coming decades. This chapter is organized as a series of questions and answers intended as a guide to help understand the different aspects of the process and the major issues that will be front and centre during the conference.

1. What is the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change?
2. What is the Kyoto Protocol?
3. What is meant by “climate change”?
4. Which factors are responsible for climate change?
5. Which GHG emissions are caused by human activity, and which sectors emit them?
6. What is a carbon footprint?
7. How are a country’s GHGs calculated?
8. How are global GHG emissions distributed?
9. How does Canada compare with other countries in terms of GHG emissions?
10. How do Canadian provinces fare in terms of GHG emissions per capita?
11. Why do we need to fight against climate change?
12. What is the objective of the Paris Conference?
13. What reduction in emissions would we need to achieve in order to respect the 2°C target?
14. How have GHG emissions evolved since the first global warming conferences were held?
15. Have the Kyoto Protocol targets been respected?
16. Was the Kyoto Protocol a success or a failure?
17. What progress has been made since the Kyoto Protocol?
18. What are the main national commitments and international accords that will serve as the basis for negotiations at the Paris Conference?
19. Will the proposed Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) be sufficient?
20. Why is a global agreement so difficult to achieve?

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