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What does the Paris Agreement actually do?

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  • David Campbell

Abstract

Though very widely believed to be inadequate in the target it sets, the Paris Agreement is commonly thought actually to set a binding target of reducing global CO 2 e emissions so as to limit global warming to 2℃. Proper legal interpretation of the Agreement shows it to set no such target. It rather gives the newly industrialising countries such as China and India a permission to emit as much as they see fit. These countries have been principally responsible for the huge growth in emissions since 1990 and they will be responsible for their continued huge growth until 2030. The Paris Agreement therefore makes the policy of mitigation of global warming impossible. However, this policy has been impossible over the whole of the now more than a quarter century of international climate change policy.

Suggested Citation

  • David Campbell, 2016. "What does the Paris Agreement actually do?," Energy & Environment, , vol. 27(8), pages 883-895, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:engenv:v:27:y:2016:i:8:p:883-895
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