Dome sculpture in Paris, France.

A Fair, Efficient, and Feasible Climate Agreement

The climate agreement that world leaders reached in Paris has been harshly criticized by avid environmentalists, because negotiators did not commit to limiting global warming to 1.5º Celsius above pre-industrial levels by 2050. But what emerged in Paris was far more credible: practical near-term steps in the right direction.

CAMBRIDGE – How should one evaluate the agreement reached in Paris this month at the United Nations climate change conference? No sooner was the deal announced on December 12 than the debate erupted.

Some avid environmentalists were disappointed that the agreement did not commit firmly to limiting global warming to 1.5º Celsius above pre-industrial levels by 2050.

But such a commitment would not have been credible. What emerged in Paris was in fact better, because the negotiators were able to agree on practical steps in the right direction. Individual countries pledged to limit their emissions in the near term, with provisions for future monitoring and periodic reviews of targets. This is far better than setting lofty goals for the distant future while giving little reason to think that they would be met. The important thing is to get started.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

To access our archive, please log in or register now and read two articles from our archive every month for free. For unlimited access to our archive, as well as to the unrivaled analysis of PS On Point, subscribe now.

required

By proceeding, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, which describes the personal data we collect and how we use it.

Log in

http://prosyn.org/RT0b0Vq;

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.