COP21: Arc de Triomphe Sun

COP dispatches…

So the world’s governments have come together to agree a detailed and comprehensive agreement to cut fossil fuel use.

The Guardian calls it “The world’s greatest diplomatic success”, whilst the New York Times traces the tortuous six year journey to agreement.

With one scientist calling the agreement a “Christmas Miracle” the BBC asks if god was involved more directly, through his representative on earth the Pope who has also called for global action to put the deal into practice. (Please note: the Pope may or may not be the lord’s representative on earth. Everyone to their belief, we just liked the turn of phrase).

Leaving the spiritual realm aside the deal was also welcomed by a host of scientists and other experts – though not by everyone. Climate change science rockstar James Hansen, for example, called it a ‘fraud’ on the basis that it is full of promises rather than actions.

Hanson isn’t entirely right though – promises do have concrete implications.

Noting the winners and losers from the agreement Bloomberg calls for “big oil” to make way for “big solar” (somewhat misunderstanding the low-margin, distributed nature of the solar business, but anyway).

On the other hand the FT reports that coal and oil industry executives suggested the deal would have no impact on their business of extracting and burning fossil fuels, whilst the Wall Street Journal reports on the immediate and predictable political backlash from the US right linked to said fossil fuel firms. Odd really, if it’s not going to have any impact and all.

It’s a running theme this: in the UK well known opponents of action on climate change like Matt Ridley argue the deal is basically a meaningless fudge, whilst others raise concerns that it might drive policy while other countries lag behind.

What policy? More renewables, no gas cookers, new climate targets, an “exciting opportunity” for UK business. Christine Ottery will have more on the UK implications and the battle over framing a little later on today.

Meanwhile in countries that are far more important to the future of the planet…

News site QZ covers how India faired in the climate negotiations whilst The Guardian notes a frankly racist cartoon which appeared in the Murdoch owned “The Australian” depicting Indians trying and failing to eat solar panels. Really. It’s breathtaking.

The deal was also welcomed in China with their lead negotiator probably giving a far more succinct and balanced summary than the reams of copy referenced above:

“This accord isn’t perfect,” Xie Zhenhua told reporters late on Saturday following the talks. “There are parts of it that need to be improved. But this doesn’t affect the fact that history has taken a huge step forward, and so we are satisfied.”

In other news

Business continues as usual for Shell which has seen it’s controversial take-over of gas giant BG group ok’d by Chinese regulators

The closure of a UK nuclear plant raises fears of Christmas blackouts (we‘re telling you now, this probably won’t happen, there, that’s the fact-check, done).

And a giant tidal turbine is to be placed on the sea-bed (where-else frankly) near Pembrokeshire in the latest attempt to make the technology commercially viable.