What Will All The Hot Air In Paris Actually Do?

Negotiators and activists are getting increasingly serious about the prospects of finalizing a carbon-cutting deal here in Paris. No doubt if they are successful we will see much back-slapping and exhortations of "success" in 7 days. But the bonhomie will hide a rather inconvenient truth: even if it’s successful, any deal negotiated in Paris is going to do very little to rein in temperature rises.

In a recent peer-reviewed research paper, I looked at all the carbon-cutting promises countries committed to ahead of Paris (their so-called “Intended Nationally Determined Contributions” or INDCs) for the years 2016-2030. These are what the global treaty will be based on (along with a bunch of hot air about what might happen outside those dates – something that’s easy for politicians of today to talk about, but that we just can’t take seriously).

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4 Dec 2015

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