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Don’t worry: the Paris climate deal is non-binding – and, ergo, toothless

12 December 2015

7:29 PM

12 December 2015

7:29 PM

The Paris agreement is another acknowledgement of international reality. Further proof, if any was needed, that the developing world will not agree to any legally binding caps, never mind reductions of their CO2 emissions. As seasoned observers predicted, the Paris deal is based on a voluntary basis which allows nations to set their own voluntary CO2 targets and policies without any legally binding caps or international oversight. In contrast to the Kyoto Protocol, the Paris deal removes all legal obligations for governments to cap or reduce CO2 emissions. This voluntary agreement also removes the mad rush into unrealistic decarbonisation policies that are both economically and politically unsustainable.

(And this is, word-for-word, the same as my reaction to the conclusion of the talks in Lima; but since there has been no substantive change in the COP21 deal there is no change my assessment.)

Dr Benny Peiser is director of the Global Warming Policy Forum. 


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