Introduction The agreement adopted on 12 December 2015 in Paris by 195 countries, plus the European Union (the “Paris Agreement”), aims to limit the adverse effects of climate change. The ink was barely dry before the debate opened up as to whether the Paris Agreement will be meaningful in driving the planet towards a low-carbon future.
Each person’s perspective on this debate turns on his or her expectations of what the Paris Agreement was supposed to provide for. Our expectations for the Paris Agreement (as outlined in our September 2015 paper) were entirely in line with the eventual outcome but, given how controversial and emotive a subject climate change is, the difference in perspective is hardly surprising. Ultimately, the Paris Agreement is not about what countries are legally obliged to do, but is about the signals it sends to countries, industry and business. On the signals it sends, the Paris Agreement is robust, ambitious, encompassing and enduring.
The purpose of this client paper is to provide commentary on the Paris Agreement and to share our interpretation of some of its key features and provisions. We have concluded by giving some insight on the types of business and industry sectors that may be impacted by the Paris Agreement and the broad nature of those impacts.
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