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New UN climate plan fails to reach satisfactory conclusion

New UN climate plan fails to reach satisfactory conclusion

NEW YORK: After two weeks of discussions, the UN climate meeting entrusts have at last drafted an international concurrence to fight climate change – and it’s really unsatisfactory.
A weak agreement is especially disappointing because just the month before, the US and China (the world’s two biggest carbon emitters) had reached a climate agreement of their own.
This gave everyone hope that the tide was turning and governments would start acting responsibly to curb emissions and defend the world from climate change.
How would they go about doing that? Well, the goal of the conference was to frame an internationally binding agreement between UN countries. The agreement is set to be finalized and signed at next year’s conference in Paris.While the participating countries did reach an agreement, the draft has two big problems:
1:The document does not require any international oversight.
One big issue the countries were arguing over was how to make sure everyone was actually doing their part – would everyone’s climate plans and actions be judged by an outsider? How else would other UN countries know someone’s keeping up their end of the bargain?
Sadly for future humans, several countries were vehemently opposed to the idea of an outside judge, so the delegates ultimately had to soften the language in the final draft. This is a big problem because it doesn’t hold these countries accountable.Currently, the draft reads that each country may (not shall) provide a detailed account of the plan and the way they intend to fulfill it. That means they don’t have to.
2:The document will probably not be legally binding.
Even though member countries have come to this agreement, negotiations in Paris next year probably won’t be able to force them to hold up their end of the bargain. The US is a prime example of why this is true.
Eric Holthaus from Slate writes that “any global deal almost certainly won’t have legal force (because the US Congress would never ratify a legally-binding climate treaty).” He has a point – the US did the same with the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, the first international climate agreement.
The Kyoto Protocol set emissions reduction targets, but while the US signed the agreement in 1998, it never ratified it, and dropped out of the treaty in 2001.
Ratification of a UN agreement would require a 2/3 vote in the Senate – something that would almost certainly never happen, according to The New York Times.