COP21: the Paris Agreement and the churches

By comparison to what it could have been, it’s a miracle. By comparison to what it should have been, it’s a disaster

Not all will share George Monbiot’s assessment of the outcome of the COP21 talks in Paris from 30 November to 11 December 2015. Nevertheless, it does capture the tension between the legislative/technical aspects of setting binding targets for the reduction of greenhouse gases, and the diplomatic requirements of achieving a document to which all 195 countries could agree. In Monday’s debate in the Commons, Caroline Lucas (Brighton, Pavilion) (Green) cited this as the best summing up of the Paris Agreement “in all the acres of media coverage”, [HC Hansard 14 Dec 2015 Vol 603(87) Col 1300]. Nevertheless, the COP21 Agreement was broadly welcomed, and their Lordships were in a similar feel-good mood when the Statement made by the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change was repeated in the Upper House, [HL Hansard 15 Dec 2015 Vol 767(85) Column 1970]. Continue reading