COP-21 Nears Agreement on New Paris Climate Treaty

A third straight night of all-night negotiations will almost certainly end Saturday morning with a new climate deal at COP-21. The Paris Climate Treaty is almost certain to leave several major issues to be sorted out later. 

On the other hand, the draft text released Friday morning does include a target of limiting global warming to less than two degrees Centigrade above pre-industrial levels plus an expression of further ambition to stop warming at 1.5 degrees. No percentage reductions in total global greenhouse gas emissions are specified to reach that goal.

The draft text also moves beyond the limited compliance periods in the Kyoto Protocol to create a perpetual regime that will provide reviews to set lower national emissions targets every five years. Thus, once a country ratifies the treaty, it will be committed to taking actions to save the planet from catastrophic global warming no matter how high the cost or how long it takes.

Speaking of cost, the draft text still needs work on the finance mechanisms through which the developed countries will provide financial aid to developing countries to pay for emissions reductions and adaptation to climate change. In 2009, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton saved COP-15 in Copenhagen from total collapse by proposing $100 billion in aid annually from the developing countries to the developing countries beginning in 2020. The Paris Climate Treaty looks set to confirm that commitment.

It looks to me that the Paris Climate Treaty is going to disappoint global warming alarmists for punting the most disputed issues into the future. It also looks to me that it is a treaty and will therefore require ratification by the Senate for the U. S. to join.