Tuesday 16 January 2018

Climate Summit rehashes all the old arguments again

Voluntary deals to cut carbon emissions don't work - but the price mechanism could, writes Colm McCarthy

BURNING ISSUE: One of the conferences at the COP21 Conference in Paris. Photo: Christophe Ena/AP
BURNING ISSUE: One of the conferences at the COP21 Conference in Paris. Photo: Christophe Ena/AP
Colm McCarthy

Colm McCarthy

The UN climate summit which ended yesterday in Paris was the 21st devoted to the search for agreement on how to limit global warming. The first was in Berlin in 1995 and the annual get-together now attracts 195 participating countries and 25,000 delegates.

Counting in lobbyists, protesters, journalists, PR wizards and hangers-on, almost 50,000 people are estimated to have visited Paris during this year's renewal of the mid-winter ritual.

The UN also sponsors serious scientific work through the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Since its foundation in 1988, this collaborative research effort, involving thousands of experts from around the world, has gathered persuasive evidence that greenhouse gas emissions create serious risks to the earth's climate.

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