French foreign minister and president of the talks Laurent Fabius brings down the gavel to mark the adoption of the agreement [Image: Francois Mori/AP].

French foreign minister and president of the talks Laurent Fabius brings down the gavel to mark the adoption of the agreement [Image: Francois Mori/AP].


It seems the climate treaty will use ‘nudge’ theory to induce the world into ditching fossil fuels and adopting clean energy.

Some might consider that ironic, considering the way the rich and powerful have used such techniques to change the behaviour of the poor – especially in the UK over recent years (see past VP posts on nudge theory).

But it must be remembered that the treaty has been passed by people of the same class as those who have previously foisted fossil fuels on us for so many years. Clearly, either they now see something in it for them, or they don’t intend to see this through.

It will be up to the rest of us to make sure they do.

Governments have signalled an end to the fossil fuel era, committing for the first time to a universal agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions and to avoid the most dangerous effects of climate change.

After 20 years of fraught meetings, including the past two weeks spent in an exhibition hall on the outskirts of Paris, negotiators from nearly 200 countries signed on to a legal agreement on Saturday evening that set ambitious goals to limit temperature rises and to hold governments to account for reaching those targets.

Government and business leaders said the agreement, which set a new goal to reach net zero emissions in the second half of the century, sent a powerful signal to global markets, hastening the transition away from fossil fuels and to a clean energy economy.

The deal was carefully constructed to carry legal force but without requiring approval by the US Congress – which would have almost certainly rejected it.

Source: Paris climate deal: nearly 200 nations sign in end of fossil fuel era

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