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

  • Casualties mount as Iraqi troops advance into Mosul

    World News CTV News
    MOSUL, Iraq -- "We have wounded!" the men shouted from the roadside. Two soldiers, bleeding, were being bandaged beside their smoking vehicle on the side of a dusty dirt road. Iraqi special forces Maj. Source
  • California officials work to stop Oroville Dam's outflow to clear debris

    World News CTV News
    OROVILLE, Calif. -- California water authorities will stop the outflow from the Oroville Dam's crippled spillway to allow workers to remove debris blocking a hydroelectric plant from working, officials said Sunday. The Department of Water Resources said it will start gradually reducing outflows from the Northern California dam beginning Monday morning and completely halt them by the afternoon. Source
  • Charlie Angus enters NDP leadership race [Video]

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    OTTAWA — And then there were two. Ontario MP Charlie Angus officially entered the NDP leadership race Sunday — a competition that’s expected to start heating up soon with a debate scheduled for next month in Ottawa. Source
  • Aide defends Trump's decision to skip correspondents' dinner: He wasn't elected 'to spend his time with reporters and celebrities' [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    Donald Trump will be working to improve the country when he skips the media love-in known as the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner. The White House says people should expect the president to spend that Saturday night in April “focused on what he can to do to help better America. Source
  • New Orleans crash suspect’s alcohol level 3 times legal limit: Cops [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    NEW ORLEANS — Authorities on Sunday identified the man who allegedly plowed into a crowd enjoying a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans while intoxicated. The New Orleans Police Department issued a statement identifying the man as 25-year-old Neilson Rizzuto. Source
  • Winnipeg police find person of interest in alleged mall fluid assault case

    Canada News CTV News
    Winnipeg police say they're waiting for a forensic examination of a substance a man allegedly sprayed on a teenage girl in a shopping mall before deciding whether to lay charges. Investigators released a security image on Saturday from the St. Source
  • Phooey to ‘phobias’

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    If you suffer from a fear of phobias, these are trying times. The victim industry, the hate ’n’ fear brokers, haven’t seen a boom like this since the last world war. Our leaders, our effete elites and their Internet envoys are adding new phobias to their arsenal almost daily. Source
  • Trump's choice to be Navy secretary withdraws

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump's choice to be secretary of the Navy, businessman Philip Bilden, said Sunday he was withdrawing from consideration for the post, citing concerns about privacy and separating himself from his business interests. Source
  • New Orleans crash suspect’s alcohol level 3 times legal limit: Cops

    World News Toronto Sun
    NEW ORLEANS — Authorities on Sunday identified the man who allegedly plowed into a crowd enjoying a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans while intoxicated. The New Orleans Police Department issued a statement identifying the man as 25-year-old Neilson Rizzuto. Source
  • Community rallies to throw birthday party for autistic boy

    Canada News CTV News
    Dozens of people rallied together in Kitchener, Ont. on Sunday to make seven-year-old Landen Hart’s birthday extra memorable after news no one showed up to his original party surfaced online. “It's overwhelming,” his mother Ashley Verbakel told CTV Kitchener. Source