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Experts Say US Was Given Fair and Flexible Terms in Paris Climate Agreement (Humanosphere)

June 2, 2017

From the article:

The Paris Agreement, adopted in Dec. 2015, aims to limit the increase in the global average temperature to less than two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. But what some say makes the agreement fairly innovative and flexible is that it employs voluntary commitments set by each country, which are not legally-binding.

“The pledges come in all shapes and sizes to reflect that there’s countries at every stage of their development –some that are still poor and growing very rapidly … and others that are already prosperous,” Jonah Busch, a senior fellow for climates, forests and energy at the Center for Global Development told Humanosphere.

According to Busch, the agreement’s voluntary nature – promoted by the U.S. and others – made sure that every country could take part. The only ones who did not sign on were Syria, which is embroiled in war, and Nicaragua, where officials said they did not think the Paris Agreement was strong enough...

“Paris on its own was not expected to get the world under 2 degrees anyway without future action,” Busch said. “We’re still looking at a world where we have to innovate now and make things easier later.”

One solution, which doesn’t get as much attention as clean energy, is tackling deforestation, which is “cheaper, easier and faster to deal with,” according to Busch. If deforestation were its own country, he said, it would be the third largest source of emissions after China and the United States.

Still, the strength of the agreement is that it doesn’t depend on any one country for success – even big ones like the U.S.

Read full article here.