At the UN conference held in Paris in December of last year, 195 states reached an agreement on tackling climate change and global warming that has led to droughts, floods and a range of other extreme weather events.
Grybauskaitė said that Lithuania is already experiencing problems as a result of climate change: “The environmental dangers of climate change are very clear: in many countries, it has led to floods and land loss. In some regions, there has been too much water, and in others there has been drought and famine – this is one of the main causes behind significant global migration. Therefore, all nations had to agree.
“The agreement may not be the most ambitious or with the highest goals, but it is a step that will help us slow down global warming. In Lithuania, we already see the washing away of our beaches, the appearance of hot days over 30 degrees, and drier summers,” said Grybauskaitė.
Over the last 50 years, the average air temperature in Lithuania rose by more than one degree, and the number of days during which the temperature has reached 30 degrees or more has increased by a factor of four. Over the last 50 years, the level of the Baltic Sea in the Klaipėda strait has risen by 15 cm.
Environmentalists believe that Lithuania’s goals should certainly be more ambitious.
The primary goal of the Paris climate change agreement is to ensure that the temperature would grow by less than 2 degrees by the end of the century. This requires the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and higher energy efficiency.
The agreement has also tasked developed nations with providing $100 billion USD in support for developing nations. The countries will have to submit annual national reports, and advances will be evaluated every five years, with the potential for renewed national obligations.