Was COP21 a failure or a success?

Sandra Pointel

On her return from the COP21 climate change conference, Sandra Pointel considered the hefty debate over whether the Paris Agreement is a success or a failure. The polarisation between bad and good views of the deal is no surprise to anybody familiar with the politics of sustainability in general, and climate change negotiations in particular. Politics has always played a major role in decisions surrounding sustainable development and the long road to Paris was no exception. Beyond the rhetoric, the broad scope of the agreement opens the door for many avenues. Whether it is a success or failure will, however, depends on what follows not only at international but also national and subnational levels. Just as politics played a key role in shaping the Paris Agreement, it will have a big influence on how the Agreement is ‘translated’ in different contexts. Politics-aware policy analysts will be very careful in scrutinising solutions pushed forward.

You can read Sandra’s post in full on the STEPS Centre blog.

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