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Attorneys React To The Paris Climate Change Deal

December 14, 2015


Nearly 200 countries reached a historic agreement in Paris over the weekend to limit greenhouse gas emissions in hopes of curbing global warming. Here, attorneys tell Law360 what they see as the takeaways from the landmark accord.

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Timothy J. Bergere, Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads LLP

“The Paris Accord sets aggressive, though primarily voluntary and aspirational goals for 200 countries to work cooperatively toward the goal of a low-carbon world. Its approval by the minimum required 55 nations will be a political football over the coming years. The larger industrialized nations have been asked to put their money where their mouths are, by contributing hundreds of billions of dollars over the coming years to poorer nations, to develop low carbon economies. If the funding commitments are not met, and if the developed nations do not export their technological developments to developing countries, the developing nations will continue to utilize low cost carbon fuel sources to drive their economies. The Accord will provide the greatest benefits to the developing economies of third world countries, who will benefit from financial and technological contributions from developed nations. Reducing the carbon emissions toward achieving a ‘net zero’ goal is only half of the control equation. The other half is to curb, indeed, reverse deforestation and land development, because trees and vegetation are carbon ‘sinks’ which remove carbon from the atmosphere.  The current accord recognizes the importance of both efforts. A number of the developed nations undoubtedly will demonstrate attainment of carbon emission goals by taking credit for re-forestation or other land preservation efforts. It will be a challenge for developed nations to develop carbon sequestration technologies to help off-set carbon emissions from industrial and agricultural sources.”

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To view a PDF of the full article, click here.

— Editing by Emily Kokoll.

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