By Faith Atieno

Meaningful progress has been made in the Paris Agreement and the agreements made in Glasgow are a hope of further progress, President Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States of America  said during the twenty-sixth Conference of Parties in Glasgow.

“In Paris, our agreement was to turn progress into an enduring framework that will give the world confidence in a local urban future, an agreement where countries would update their emissions target on a regular basis, an agreement that would help developing nations get resources they need to skip the dirty phase of development and help those nations vulnerable to climate change get the resources they need to adapt, ” Obama said.

He added that the agreement was to give businesses and investors the certainty that the global economy is on a firm path towards a clear and sustainable future, basically an agreement which gave the planet a fighting chance which was its ambition.

According to him, the Paris Agreement has been a success by some measures and for the first time, leaders of nearly 200 nations large and small, developed and developing made a commitment to work together to confront a threat to the people of all nations.

Obama states that institutions in the private sectors would start raising their sides if enough national governments showed they were serious about climate.

“Today, more than one fifth of the world’s largest companies have set net zero emissions target. More than 700 cities in more than 50 countries have pledged to cut their emissions in half by the end of the decade and reach net zero by 2050,” President Obama said.

He also mentioned that a third of the banking sector has agreed to align their work with the Paris Agreement and many businesses in the US continued the transitions to electric vehicles and energy saving appliances despite the challenges.

Moreover, Barack recognized the advancement of science and technology which has resulted to the price of solar and wind energy dropping to the point where clean energy is cheaper than fossil fuels.

“World Scientists and enterpreneurs are integrating abundant renewable energy, more powerful batteries breakthroughs and fields like synthetic biology to invent a better future that’s healthier and more affordable,” he said, adding that jobs have also been created.

“Despite the progress that Paris represented, most countries have failed to meet their action plans that they set six years ago and the consequences of not moving forward are becoming more apparent all the time.”

Referring to a recent study, Obama said that 85 percent of the global population has experienced weather events that were more severe due to the climate change; with stronger storms, longer hear waves, more intense flooding, crippling droughts parts of the world are becoming more dangerous to live in, triggering new migration patterns and worsening conflict around the globe.

According to the US pentagon, as stated by Obama, climate change posses a national security threat for every nation.

He pinpoints that it is encouraging that countries around the world are recognizing this is a decisive decade to avoid a climate disaster and are setting some really important goals for 2030 while at the Climate Summit in Glasgow.

For example, he mentioned that more than 100 countries have committed to reducing Methane emissions by 30 percent and have promised to stop and reverse deforestation by 2030.

Moreover, businesses from around the world have also agreed to make a market for the technology we need to transition to clean energy and US with other 20 countries have agreed to stop financing publicly international fossil fuel development with limited exceptions, Obama noted.

He said that all these goals as well as US quadrupling its annual climate finance pledge over the next few years to USD 11 billion including USD 3 billion dedicated to helping vulnerable countries adapt to the impacts of climate change are focused towards limiting warming.

However, this progress is partial because most nations have failed to be as ambitious as they need to be with some like China and Russia backing out of the briefing.

“We can’t afford to have anybody on the sidelines. There’s one thing that should transcend our day-to-day politics and normal geopolitics and that’s climate change,” Obama said, urging nations such as China, Brazil, Indonesia, South Africa, India and Russia to involve themselves more on these issues to ensure success.