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Earth Government Politics

Paris Climate Deal Adopted 292

jones_supa writes: 195 countries have adopted the first global pact to fight climate change by reducing emissions. Countries will have to publish greenhouse gas reduction targets and revise them upward every 5 years, while striving to drive down their carbon output as soon as possible, under the ambitious climate-change pact announced Saturday morning at UN talks in Paris. The agreement commits countries to keeping global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius and hopes to limit it to 1.5 C, with the goal of a carbon-neutral world sometime after 2050. The 31-page text called the Paris Agreement (PDF) was distributed to countries for them to assess, then agreed to at a plenary session.
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Paris Climate Deal Adopted

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  • ...a list of the countries that have signed it.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      http://www.carbonbrief.org/paris-2015-tracking-country-climate-pledges
      http://www.carbonbrief.org/category/policy/paris-2015

    • more conspicuously is how it will be enforced.
    • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Saturday December 12, 2015 @03:12PM (#51106517) Homepage

      Conspicuously missing from TFA... a list of the countries that have signed it.

      Oh, it'll probably be most but it is roughly as harmless as signing the UN declaration on human rights. There's no mandatory national goals, no incentives or penalties. It "notes" on point 17 that they're not going to actually reach the global goal of the agreement. It's a pot luck lunch agreement, each country sets their own goals and how they want to reach them and the only harm if they don't set very ambitious goals or fail to reach them is a bit of political egg on their face. The environmentalists of course tout this as a massive victory, but it's really just taking existing national initiatives and calling it a global effort.

      This was not very surprising, after Kyoto I and II it was clear they wouldn't get anything with binding targets from the US, China, India or any of the other big polluting nations - only Europe and Australia have binding goals now. So instead of aiming for an agreement that would fail, create a toothless agreement and call it a victory. It's certainly working in the local press here in Norway, now they're talking like we've committed to saving the world. Truth is, nobody got committed to anything and that's why it's going to pass.

      • If they wanted to actually accomplish something, they could agree to fund fusion research [imgur.com]. A practical, safe fusion reactor would make a huge dent in CO2 emissions.
    • ...a list of the countries that have signed it.

      ... because their leaders needed some good press. The parliaments of some of these countries will refuse to ratify it once the lobbyists have done their work, the list of such countries being led by the USA. The rest like China and Russia will simply falsify their emission data.

      This is just another worthless piece of paper.

    • Also missing is what they will be required to do. America needs to come down, but even more important is China. The numbers that put up are wrong.
      According to OCO2, China accounts for more than 40%, and possibly 50%, of current CO2 emissions.
  • 2 C is a fantasy (Score:4, Insightful)

    by anzha ( 138288 ) on Saturday December 12, 2015 @02:48PM (#51106375) Homepage Journal
    I hate to say it, but we're too late for 2 C [blogspot.com]. Even if we call a halt to CO2 emissions, the gas already in the atmosphere is likely to carry us up and over. To make matters worse, the carbon capture technologies coal plants were supposed to get don't work [blogspot.com] as well as advertised. Even if we do hold to 2 C, btw, we are going to have long term sea level rise [blogspot.com].

    Global warming at this point is inevitable [blogspot.com]. Even probably 5 C warming. Some are arguing 8 C [eurekalert.org] by the end of the century. However, its not the end of the world. Just a radically different one.

    (yeah I've been following this very closely for over a decade)

    Amusingly, coccolithophores, the calcium shelled plankton, everyone has been really worried would be seriously impacted by the rise in carbon dioxide causing oceanic acidification actually grow MORE [blogspot.com] in raised CO2 environments.
    • Yea, but every bit they do to try and slow it down will help. Unfortunately, this is a mostly feel-good toothless agreement with no hard number CO2 goals or penalties for failing to meet them. Exxonmobil, Shell, BP and the other companies have sadly ran a very successful disinformation campaign to fuel a bunch of anti-government climate deniers to slow down the process.
    • However, its not the end of the world. Just a radically different one.

      Between the impervious consume-it-alls and frantic your-ecological-footprint-is-too-big-at-every-step I'd like to know what I can do about it besides solarpanels & minimal car use. Because I and surely many people like me want to leave at least something to our children's children but are more or less bound by the wheel

      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        by zippthorne ( 748122 )

        Based on the signatories' examples, I'd say taking frequent Jet-trips to conferences is definitely well within the allowable activities.

        Seriously.. they couldn't teleconference this one? Are they trying to send the message that it's all bullshit?

      • by Jeremi ( 14640 )

        Hmm, inventing a machine that removes CO2 from the air and converts it to solid form (for burial, or perhaps use as a building material) would be very helpful... especially if the machine can be powered using renewable energy, of course :)

    • by danbob999 ( 2490674 ) on Saturday December 12, 2015 @04:12PM (#51106785)

      Even if it's too late for 2 C, it doesn't mean we shouldn't try reducing CO2. 5 C is better than 8 C.

      • Even if it's too late for 2 C, it doesn't mean we shouldn't try reducing CO2. 5 C is better than 8 C.

        I agree... I used to be a climate change skeptic, but after review of the information, the risk is just too great that we are moving things along too quickly.

        But the OP is right, 2 C has been lost, they just don't want to say it yet. However, you're right, we should do something, and frankly after looking past the headlines, the Paris deal isn't actually that bad.

    • Re:2 C is a fantasy (Score:4, Informative)

      by BlackPignouf ( 1017012 ) on Saturday December 12, 2015 @05:15PM (#51107095)
      • by zm ( 257549 )
        Good thing we started emitting all this carbon 20000 years ago, otherwise most of the northern hemisphere would still be covered by a thick sheet of ice... :-P
    • They did not put any sanctions into this deal for breaking the agreed upon rules.
      So what will be the result of it?
      They are currently hyping it as a great breakthrough, but how is it going to enforce its goals?

    • by khallow ( 566160 )
      Unless, the actual temperature forcing of CO2 is much lower than advertised. Then we might be many decades to a few centuries away from where we think we currently are.

      Global warming at this point is inevitable. Even probably 5 C warming. Some are arguing 8 C by the end of the century. However, its not the end of the world. Just a radically different one.

      How about 1.5-2.5C by 2100 in exchange for giving most of the world a developed world standard of living? Sounds a good trade to me.

    • The truth is the predictions are not reliable and the climatic models are flawn. They are overfitting the data, hence this gives the impression they are actually good while they are not so good. Fitting almost perfectly past data doesn't mean the model is sound and good to predict future behavior. That is the main reason the governments are not that hot to actually take costly actions to reduce drastically the greenhouse gas emissions.

      Being more alarmist and exagerrating consequences without anything to bac

  • Pillow talk (Score:4, Insightful)

    by burtosis ( 1124179 ) on Saturday December 12, 2015 @03:07PM (#51106471)
    Until I get the time to painstakingly go over the document and we see some real results across the board I'm just going to assume its all pillow talk. Besides the USA doing their own usual workarounds (changing locations for manufacturing), letting China and India do their own thing wont really pan out for this whole 2C thing. 2C is likely an unachievable fantasy at this point.
    • Real question is "what's the enforcement mechanism?". Without some means of making sure everyone actually does something other than write reports every five years (a quick read shows that obligations under the agreement are to "make promises" and "write reports on progress of the promises"), it means nothing.

      I also find it interesting that this agreement requires absolutely nothing before 2020. So Obama isn't on the hook to do anything, and his successor probably isn't on the hook to do anything (his suc

  • Mostly a photo-op (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pesho ( 843750 ) on Saturday December 12, 2015 @03:08PM (#51106479)
    James Hansen is highly skeptical that this agreement will lead to anything tangible. Mostly because it consists of promises without any enforceable mechanisms. I am inclined to agree with him. It looks like large dog and pony show mostly aimed at reducing public pressure without committing to anything.
    • by pesho ( 843750 )
      forgot the link [theguardian.com]
    • by Jack Griffin ( 3459907 ) on Saturday December 12, 2015 @03:37PM (#51106641)
      When you look at things like this in isolation you might think it does nothing, but this is the long fight. Similar to the anti-smoking movement, it took decades of incremental steps to finally get to a tipping point where not smoking became the default accepted point of view.
      We are still a decade or two away from the desired result, but I believe this is continuing to shift the default position from "Climate Change is BS", to "it exists, but nothing we can do", to " We can solve this". These things can take a generation to infiltrate the public conscious enough that politicians are forced to act, so as long as we're moving in the right direction, we'll get there eventually.
      • Re:Mostly a photo-op (Score:4, Interesting)

        by pesho ( 843750 ) on Saturday December 12, 2015 @04:47PM (#51106961)

        When you look at things like this in isolation you might think it does nothing, but this is the long fight. Similar to the anti-smoking movement, it took decades of incremental steps to finally get to a tipping point where not smoking became the default accepted point of view. We are still a decade or two away from the desired result, but I believe this is continuing to shift the default position from "Climate Change is BS", to "it exists, but nothing we can do", to " We can solve this". These things can take a generation to infiltrate the public conscious enough that politicians are forced to act, so as long as we're moving in the right direction, we'll get there eventually.

        You analogy is wrong on so many levels.

        1. Smoking hurts mostly you and to somewhat lesser degree people that live close to you, in contrast global warming impacts everyone who lives on the planed right now as well as several generations down the line.

        2. Stopping smoking has immediate effect. Stopping green house gas emissions even if done completely and abruptly will have delayed impact on global warming as the gases currently in the atmosphere will need time to recede. In addition, the green house effect has a self feeding loop, by increasing water vapor, reducing ice cover, etc. Comparing it to smoking is like comparing hitting the brake on a kids bicycle to hitting the break on a freight train at full speed on a downward slope. (Hint : it will take a lot of time before the train stops).

        Your suggestion that we can stop global warming by waiting for the reality to trickle down through the brains of the population of planet earth and take gradual measures is simply ridiculous. By the time this happens it will be too late. I have given up on any hope that effective measures against global warming will be taken in time to preserve the climate to anything resembling the current climate. What we can hope is to prevent a complete catastrophe and adapt to the new climate. Rich countries in high latitudes will fare better. I would really hate to be living around the tropics, especially in arid places like the middle east.

      • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Saturday December 12, 2015 @05:25PM (#51107139) Homepage

        When you look at things like this in isolation you might think it does nothing, but this is the long fight. Similar to the anti-smoking movement, it took decades of incremental steps to finally get to a tipping point where not smoking became the default accepted point of view.

        Because you managed to convince the smokers it was in their own interest to quit. And if not themselves then to save their family and friends the effect of second hand smoke. Your 1/7 billionth contribution to AGW? Ten bucks for your kid's college fund is probably going to change their life more. Sure those fractions add up but there's a million things you could do on the individual level that would matter more. And that I think will take priority.

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          You are wrong in two ways.

          The agreement is for governments, not individuals. It only needs governments to act, and many already are. Getting the US and China to at least agree on a reasonable target is a big step forward and at least on the part of China does seem to affect policy.

          Secondly, individuals will clean up if helped to. For example, the EU mandated standard testing for vacuum cleaners. Consumers can now compare vacuum cleaners better than they could before, and sales have trended towards efficient

          • It only needs governments to act

            If you think that the governments can in any way stop global warming then you're living in a fairy land. The governments are powerless here because they aren't the big polluters. The big polluters are you and I, sitting here burning 100W posting on Slashdot while at the same time complaining bitterly against rising electricity prices, taxation being spent on green initiatives instead of welfare (by welfare I mean welfare for me, i.e. tax breaks, or maybe the footpath in front of the house being repaired), a

  • by kenh ( 9056 )

    There's no consequence for not complying with the pact, what's the point of a toothless pact?

    • Yep and according to article 21 it wont even go into force until 30 days after at least 55 parties accounting for at least 55 percent of emissions sign. The only teeth are for the tiny developing nations that would receive financial support, so the United States, China, and India, among others, will see no real complications from just signing and doing whatever they want.
  • Agreement criticized for imposing no sanctions on countries that fail to reduce emissions
  • Finally the war on terror is one step closer [newsmax.com] to being over.
  • by WindBourne ( 631190 ) on Saturday December 12, 2015 @04:31PM (#51106887) Journal
    Unless China stops building out their new coal plants right now, there is no way to stop this.

    In fact, all nations really need to stop building new coal plants. These are the bane of the emissions.
    • You know why China has to build about 1 coal power plant a week?
      That's because the US and Europe moved all their manufacturing industry there.
      You want to help China stop building new coal power plants? Buy less stuff from there.
      That sucks, because I love tech gadgets but I do buy much fewer gadgets since I realized the hidden environmental impact they have.

    • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
      They will stop when we stop paying them to produce concrete and steel. Those things (and the things made from them) are power-intensive. And industry is the user of power in China, and that's been sent to China from the US by US companies. We still mine materials in the US, to ship to China for processing, for return to the US for sale. It was a way of exporting pollution when Nixon started the EPA. That's when exporting pollution started. Though, as it takes a while for industries to turn, it took a f
  • I'm glad we won't have to hear about Climate change anymore and work on things like stopping bombing people.

  • in slashdot comment threads on climate-related posts seems to be inversely proportional to the square of the post's age, and exponential in the number of USA citizens participating in the thread. One also notes such phenomena as the denial or neglect of simple laws of nature, the denial of the 119-year old findings of a well-respected scientist [rsc.org], ignorance of the basic tenets of technical, even polite discussion, and a statistically not insignificant tendency to adhere to conspiration theories. Slashdot dis

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