Paris, 12 December 2015 – An historic agreement to combat climate change and unleash actions and investment towards a low carbon, resilient and sustainable future was agreed by 195 nations in Paris today. (“Historic Paris Agreement on Climate Change”)
In a moment in which liberal democracy seems in decline, threatened by external and internal pressures, an agreement like the one reached yesterday in Paris by 195 countries has to be welcome like a breath of fresh air.
Not everyone will be 100% happy, as no one really knows what the consequences will be in a world that is 2 °C, or even an aspirational 1.5 °C hotter than it was in the preindustrial era. However, the unanimous vote of support is historic, being the very first time an agreement of this scope is legally binding for all nations.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that history will remember this day:
We have entered a new era of global cooperation on one of the most complex issues ever to confront humanity. For the first time, every country in the world has pledged to curb emissions, strengthen resilience and join in common cause to take common climate action. This is a resounding success for multilateralism.
Let’s hope history will remember this day like, for example, the Bretton Woods Conference is remembered today, as a landmark in collective intelligence, and not by this funny cartoon: