COP21 United Nations climate change conference

Ian Angus is a Canadian ecosocialist activist and author. The editor of Climateandcapitalism.com, Angus is also the co-author of Too Many People? Population, Immigration, and the Environmental Crisis with former Green Left Weekly editor Simon Butler (Haymarket, 2011).


People's Climate March, Sydney, November 29.

The Paris Agreement on climate change, which emerged out of the November 30 to December 12 COP21 UN climate talks, has been hailed as a “turning point for the world'. But it is long on rhetoric and short on real commitments – below are seven reasons why.

1. It sets an ambitious target sure to be missed

One side event at the COP21 United Nations climate change conference in Paris was the launch of the Fossil-Fuel Subsidy Reform Communique. Almost 40 countries signed onto the statement, which pledges to eliminate subsidies to the fossil fuel industry.

The communique said: “The International Energy Agency (IEA) highlights fossil fuel subsidy reform as a key component of a set of energy measures to combat climate change and estimates that even a partial phase-out of fossil-fuel subsidies would generate 12% of the total abatement needed by 2020 to keep the door open to the 2°C target.”

“We, the developing countries, are dignified and sovereign nations and victims of a problem that we didn’t cause.”

This statement was made six years ago, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) at the Copenhagen Climate Conference.

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