Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Even if the pledges were met the deal would be useless

A common argument against the Paris agreement has been that the “pledges” to cut emissions are only that: promises, targets, hopes. There is no way to enforce them, or even to verify them in many cases.

Another common argument, highlighted in Trump’s speech but made since long before, is that even if the pledges were met the deal would be useless. According to this view, China, India et al are not even putting up with the charade of trying to reduce emissions. Their emission targets are what you’d expect if their economies and energy systems continued their historical experience; in other words, their “target” is equivalent to doing nothing. Most hilariously, Pakistan’s INDC simply stated its emissions would peak at some point.

(Proponents of the agreement have usually countered this argument by putting their hands on their ears and ceaselessly screaming “I HEAR NOTHING”)...