Henrik Selin, Associate Professor, and Adil Najam, Dean of the Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University, contributed a great piece to The Coversation last month on the key takeaways from the new Paris Agreement.
At 7:27 pm local time Saturday, December 12th, 2015, a new Paris Agreement on global climate change was born after four years of taxing labor. Its much-anticipated birth was quickly followed by copious self-congratulations by many of the parents in the room who almost all were overcome by joy and bursting with pride.
Praise heaped upon newborns should be taken with a grain of salt. “Historic” is a term often thrown about too cavalierly, and a “new era” does not start every time government bureaucrats pull a few all-nighters. But, what has come out of Paris clearly marks a new direction for global climate cooperation.
We wish the newborn well, but upon some post-natal reflection, it is clear that the birth of the Paris Agreement should be cause for both hope and caution. Certain political developments are principally good and welcome. Other changes are largely bad. And some purposeful omissions may be plain ugly.