The Paris Agreement

guest blog by Daniel Voskoboynik, This Changes Everything UK

For all the dispiriting truths I know about the world, inside of me I still carry impulses of hopeful naiveté: that there are no bad intentions but misguided ones, that things are being constantly improved, that there are always saviours somewhere, that all problems find their cures. These intuitions, engraved in me through innocence and illusion, come and go, but never have they encountered such a direct challenge than during the two weeks I spent at the Paris climate talks.

Over the past weeks, I’ve struggled to make sense of the fallout of Paris. Beyond the assured opinion pieces and the neat narratives, lies an unsettled confusion about what we should understand, and what we should do next.

There is much to parse about the accord itself, and confident conclusions, encased in tidy turns of phrase, seem elusive. But below are a few stories and fragments that inadequately attempt to look back at what was decided, and what may lie ahead.

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The end of the beginning – 21 years of an unjust process

by Klever Descarpontriez and Aneesa Khan


Last Sunday the 13th of December the news of a new ‘historic’, ‘landmark’, ‘once in a century’ international climate agreement infested the front page of all the major media outlets, especially praising the fact that the agreement was universal and legally binding. Many people seemed to forget that this wasn’t the first time all countries in the world had come together to address the climate crisis. As a matter of fact, we have had a universal legally binding instrument for climate change in place since 1992. Then, why was there so much hype about Paris in particular? Have we forgotten that this is an ongoing process, one that neither started nor ended in France last week?

The first part of this blog is an attempt to summarize the process of almost two and a half decades of negotiations. The second part aims to recap the process that took place in 2015 alone.

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Has the World Changed?

by Makiko Yoshida

“We cannot accept starvation as a price for the success of this agreement,” Gurdial Singh Nijar of Malaysia, speaking on behalf of the Like Minded Group of countries.

  DSC_0157        The Paris Agreement was adopted under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) after four years of work. The plenary was filled with applause and excitement for what many media broadcasted as “the adoption of global agreement to save the world.” Will the agreement save the world?


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How the Paris Agreement FCCC’ed Us Over

by Aneesa Khan
To be in a room for seven whole hours is arduous in itself. However, for that room to be one filled with painfully complacent idiots, the overpowering smell of corporate power, and sickeningly thundering applause? Well, that can only be described as torturous. Feelings along the lines of delirious levels of fury, profound misery and a fairly good amount of second-hand embarrassment for those in the room were inevitable and rampant.

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Civil Society has the last word on D12 after the final text was released.

Actions Make a Thousand Pictures

By Kimberly Lopez Castellanos

For the whole two weeks while in Paris, I was on the outside. Since the beginning of the course, I felt the need to network, communicate, and spread the stories of activists; whether these activists were from the frontline communities or some of the many youth trying to create a platform for the undermined voices that needed to be heard.

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