Paris climate pact: Who won, who lost out, and who was forced to compromise

LE BOURGET, France -- The climate deal adopted in suburban Paris was the culmination of four years of negotiations on how to get nearly all countries to jointly reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that scientists say are warming the planet.

See Full Article

The talks were difficult and sometimes teetered on the brink of collapse. Every country made compromises to get the deal done, but some got more than others by the time the gavel dropped on Saturday.

Here's a look at winners in the Paris climate agreement and some who came up short:

SMALL ISLANDS

The tiniest countries were arguably the biggest winners in the deal. Tuvalu, Marshall Islands, Maldives, Kiribati and other island nations pushed hard for two things. First, a global commitment to at least try to limit Earth's warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) compared to pre-industrial times. Second, recognition that they're going to need help to deal with damage caused by rising seas, more extreme weather and other impacts of climate change. They got both, though with some caveats.

UNITED STATES

The deal in some ways looks like a wish list from U.S. negotiators. It has no new legally binding emissions or financial targets, which would have prevented President Barack Obama from accepting it without approval from the Republican-controlled Congress. It allows countries to set their own emissions targets, rather than having to negotiate them with other countries. And it requires everyone, not just rich countries, to set emissions targets and be transparent about what they are doing to meet them.

FRANCE

Almost everyone involved in the talks heaped praise on France for making the deal come together. With masterful diplomacy, the French built bridges and gave every country confidence that its voice was being heard. France also earned respect for staying the course despite the bomb-and-gun massacres in Paris just weeks before the climate conference.

CHINA

The world's biggest greenhouse gas polluter didn't have to cross any of its red lines. Though a strict firewall between developed and developing countries is gone, the deal still reflects different capabilities of rich and poor throughout the text, a key Chinese demand. Another win for Beijing is that, unlike at the chaotic climate summit six years ago in Copenhagen, China wasn't seen as blocking the talks in Paris.

INDIA

Indian Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar blended praise with criticism in his post-deal speech, suggesting he had mixed feelings about the outcome. Knowing its emissions are expected to peak later than those of other major economies, India made sure the text includes some leeway for developing nations. It reluctantly accepted the 1.5 degree goal and failed to get the deal to oblige rich countries to provide clean technology free of intellectual property rights to poor ones.

EUROPEAN UNION

The Europeans didn't come out of Paris looking like the leaders they want to be -- and in many cases are -- on climate change. They helped form a "high-ambition coalition" of rich and poor countries, but it wasn't clear whether the alliance was anything but symbolic. The EU successfully introduced a mechanism in the deal designed to ramp up emissions targets over time, but caved on demands that the targets be legally binding.

SAUDI ARABIA

Oil-rich Saudi Arabia argued against the 1.5-degree temperature target and a long-term goal to phase out emissions. It lost both battles. However, the long-term goal doesn't specifically mention emissions from fossil fuels, a small win for the Saudis.

FOSSIL FUELS

The biggest loser in the Paris agreement could be the fossil fuel industry. The deal signals to businesses that governments will enact policies over time to promote a shift toward cleaner energy sources, such as wind and solar power. Of course, it remains to be seen whether they follow up on their pledges. In response to the deal, the World Coal Association referred to projections that "electricity generation from coal would grow by 24 per cent by 2040" even with the emissions targets countries have set so far.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Manchester bomber identified as local man of Libyan descent

    World News CTV News
    MANCHESTER, England -- The man who police say blew himself up in a packed concert arena in Manchester, killing 22 people, did not make a strong impression on his neighbours. Residents of the Manchester suburb of modest brick semi-detached homes where 22-year-old Salman Abedi lived remembered seeing the tall, thin young man who often wore traditional Islamic dress. Source
  • 'It was just sheer chaos': Ariana Grande fans describe attack

    World News CTV News
    MANCHESTER, England -- Rihanna Hardy had been excited about seeing Ariana Grande ever since she got her concert ticket as a gift at Christmas. So when the day came, the 11-year-old left school a couple of hours early to make sure to get to Manchester Arena on time. Source
  • Uber admits to underpaying NYC drivers by millions of dollars

    World News CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Uber has admitted to underpaying its New York City drivers tens of millions of dollars for the past 2 1/2 years. The ride-hailing company on Tuesday said each affected driver would get a refund of about $900, which includes interest. Source
  • N.S. boy clothes the homeless to cope with father's tragic death

    Canada News CTV News
    Ken Gordon was known for dropping everything to help anyone who needed it. The 54-year-old was killed at the side of a Nova Scotia highway while checking the cargo in the back of his truck in March. Source
  • Montreal schizophrenia patients face their demons through virtual reality

    Canada News CBC News
    A pilot project at Montreal's Philippe-Pinel Institute has patients with schizophrenia confronting voices that torment them by way of a virtual reality experience. The project, developed by psychiatrist and researcher Alexandre Dumais, allows patients to create computer-generated avatars that look and talk like the demons they face inside their heads. Source
  • OPP officer charged with criminal harassment and 2 counts sexual assault

    Canada News CTV News
    SMITHS FALLS, Ont. - An eastern Ontario provincial police is facing charges in an ongoing domestic investigation. They say the investigation stems from incidents that are alleged to have occurred while the officer was off duty. Source
  • Online threat against Sophie Grégoire Trudeau leads to arrest of Lethbridge woman

    Canada News CBC News
    A Lethbridge, Alta. woman is facing charges after allegedly posting threats online against Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, wife of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The RCMP's Integrated National Security Enforcement Team based in Alberta — K-INSET — was alerted to the threats made against the Canadian government on May 11 and an arrest was made the next day. Source
  • 'Keep your kids close': Winnipeg parents give tearful plea after son drowns

    Canada News CBC News
    The parents of a nine-year-old boy who drowned over the weekend have a desperate plea to other parents as they prepare to say goodbye to their beloved son one last time.Boy who died in Rushing River was from WinnipegPolice investigate boy's death in Rushing River Provincial Park?"Just keep your kids a little closer and love them up a little more because shit could change in a minute," said Trevor Thomas. Source
  • Thunder Bay, Ont., police chief charged with breach of trust, obstructing justice

    Canada News CTV News
    ORILLIA, Ont. -- The police chief of a northwestern Ontario city is facing charges following a five-month investigation into alleged criminal wrongdoing. Ontario Provincial Police say Jean Paul Levesque, 53, of Thunder Bay, Ont. Source
  • Two men in Indonesia caned dozens of times for having gay sex [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    BANDA ACEH, INDONESIA - Two men in Indonesia’s Aceh province were publicly caned dozens of times Tuesday for consensual gay sex, a punishment that intensifies an anti-gay backlash in the world’s most populous Muslim country and which rights advocates denounced as “medieval torture. Source