At the December 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21) held in Paris, France, 195 participating countries arrived at an agreement to combat climate change. Many praise the Paris Agreement as a turning point in international efforts to reduce global warming and its effects through curbing greenhouse gas emissions and addressing the vulnerabilities of developing countries. Arriving at a common goal to hold temperatures to “well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels” is cited as a historic component of the agreement. Others are more critical, arguing that the agreement comes too late and highlighting the fact that there are no penalties or binding clauses for countries that do not meet their commitments.
On January 26, join the World Affairs Council for an event to review the Paris Agreement, the implementation process, and the agreement’s role in combating climate change. Three of our panelists spoke at the October 2015 WAC event previewing COP21 and are anxious to share their reflections on the Paris Agreement: