Paris climate change agreement : The world’s greatest diplomatic success
The past 21 years has seen governments of the world try to resolve the climate crisis but with little success. Prior to the Paris talks in 2015, the last global attempt at resolving the issue of climate change had taken place in 2009 at Copenhagen. The 2009 climate conference also known as COP15 collapsed into chaos and counteraccusations providing stark contrast to the reactions and the atmosphere of success after the Paris talks; Cop21 came to a successful culmination. This outcome; acclaimed as historic, ambitious and durable, had been preceded by two long weeks of fraught negotiations, and last-minute hold up as parties ironed out and resolved their compromises.
According to the deal that was struck, both developed and developing countries will be obligated to restrict their carbon emissionsto below two-degree Celsius (2C)with the eventual goal of keeping it below one point five degree Celsius (1.5C). These commitments by governments will be subject to regular reviews to make sure that in accordance with scientific advice, these pledges can be increased. In addition to this, urgent aid will be made available to countries that are affected by disasters that can be linked to climate change. To help poor nations to cope with the outcomes of extreme weather conditions and to enable them cut their emission levels, the Paris agreement gives a provision for climate financing.
Despite being the world’s greatest diplomatic success, the deal, according to this news article is imperfect. This reality is however expected as it forms the nature of most if not all international compromises. The article does an excellent job of shining the spotlight on the major weaknesses of the climate agreement. It points out that the emissions caps provided for by the agreement are loose which could exacerbate global warming to 3C from the current 2.7C. The article further explains that scientists have set the safety limits at 2C citing that a breach above this limit would result in catastrophic and irreversible effects of climate change. The author of the article makes a point of outlining the negative effects of climate change, mentioning the various types of adverse weather conditions such as heatwaves, floods, rising sea levels and droughts, all to the benefit of the reader. The fact that the Paris agreement is not entirely legally binding to the signatory countries, poses as a major loophole that future governments could exploit and renege on their obligations. Lastly, the climate financing provisions had the poor countries on edge, as they feared that the amount of money set aside to protect them would not be sufficient. These critical flaws in the Paris climate agreements have the unfortunate potential of undermining climate action in the future.
This news article was written in a way so as to reach and appeal to a well-educated audience. The author of the article excelled at reporting on a complex issue and was able to communicate adequatelythe complex information by doing so, systematically. The channel chosen for distribution of the article shows a leaning towards attracting influential and affluent readers who are also likely to read at leisure.The news agency used gives the impression of elite news as it speaks of market dominance, high credibility, excellent audience research, and excellent standards of production. The news article does its best to recount the mood, atmosphere, and sense of tension and jubilation that surrounded the period of the negotiations until the very end when the deal was signed and announced to the people. As a written piece of news, it was more difficult to convey with precision and accuracy the emotions of excitement and jubilation representative of the magnitude of the historic event that saw about 200 countries come together to agree on the rather contentiousissue of climate change. The pictures used in the article mitigated the situation by helping to capture the mood and atmosphere of the culmination of more than 23 years of collective action under the UN towards solving a global challenge, using pictures that speak volumes.
Despite the article being well written, the headline could be revised to reflect the view of the issue being discussed, as it felt more neutral with regards to the information provided within the body of the article. Several quotes from climate analysts, experts, and economists were used in the article but there were numerous other opportunities where government official and delegates would have been quoted to the benefit of the article’s richness. The background information provided in the news article was adequate to support the goals of the article. However,the climate negotiations being a complex subject with a long and detailed history, the news article should have provided more background information in order to paint sufficientlya picture of how far these climate talks have come. Ample access to the back story of a historic event such as the Paris climate talks would help to articulate the prominence of the signed climate agreement.
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