The day after Paris: politicians hand the baton to green industries

23566889961_3f28f33b32_o.jpgBy Peter M Haas

The international community has been negotiating on climate change since 1989, but the Paris Agreement marks a real step forward. It aims to accelerate a move away from fossil fuels to mitigate global warming and to help vulnerable countries adapt to the effects of climate change, and reflects a clear recognition of the urgency of the task. Still, the NGO Climate Action Tracker estimates that a fully implemented Paris Agreement will lead to an average warming of 2.7 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels by 2100, well short of the Paris goal of a 1.5C rise in temperature. But even though the Paris Agreement is insufficient to achieve the espoused target, it may help us get there by sending strong signals to the private sector to invest more heavily in green technologies. Most importantly, it indicates a new political approach to dealing with climate change, one in which the focus of attention is private sector innovation and is subject to pressure from a constellation of other actors, including nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), social movements and the scientific community, as well as the UN itself. (Read more)

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