Is the COP21 climate deal be enough to save the planet? Is the lack of mandatory requirements a show-stopper?

Should we celebrate that the COP21 Climate Change summit produced an agreement?  The new agreement doesn’t have mandatory limits, mandatory agreements, etc … those are things which were in the Kyoto climate change agreement which we had 18 years ago.

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Maybe the agreement won’t be enough – but at least it has 180+ countries joining into the game, which is a significant result.

“You can’t put everything into a legally binding agreement if you want a certain major emitter to join the agreement.”  Hence, the flaws in the agreement are due to getting the U.S. and/or China to participate.

We needed an agreement for the 21st century, not a Kyoto-style agreement.  Decarbonization doesn’t have to be seen as a burden, but as a big benefit due to clean air, and reducing incidence of health problems.

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The agreement does list a $100 billion fund to help the vulnerable developing countries.  However, that fund is not mandatory and has been proposed before but without result.

Some countries will see this deal to be in their best interests, and will do things of their own accord to implement the agreement.  In such cases “Domestic Politics” are enough to enforce the agreement.  Other countries are wedded to fossil fuel production and consumption and might need an externally imposed enforcement agency.


About David Herron

David Herron is a writer and software engineer living in Silicon Valley. He primarily writes about electric vehicles, clean energy systems, climate change, peak oil and related issues. When not writing he indulges in software projects and is sometimes employed as a software engineer. David has written for sites like PlugInCars and TorqueNews, and worked for companies like Sun Microsystems and Yahoo.

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