14 Dec 2015

What does Paris' historic climate change agreement mean?

From Nine To Noon, 9:31 am on 14 December 2015

It's being hailed as historic, the unanimous agreement of nearly 200 countries to aim to keep global temperature rises "well below" 2°C, with an aspirational target of limiting the rise to 1.5°C. Scientists believe that is the only way to avoid catastrophic climate change and sea level rise. Some aspects of the agreement reached in Paris at the weekend after marathon negotiations will be legally binding, such as submitting emission reduction targets and the regular review of those goals. However the targets set by nations will not be binding - and some scientists have said complete safety is not guaranteed even if the 2°C limit is successfully met. Meanwhile developing countries will get financial and technological help to move straight to renewables, instead of developing use of fossil fuels.

Kathryn Ryan asks New Zealand's first climate change ambassador – Victoria University's Adrian Macey – for his take on the deal.

The Eiffel Tower displays the message "decarbonize" within the United Nations Climate Conference on Climate Change, on 11 December 2015 in Paris.

The Eiffel Tower displays the message "decarbonize" within the United Nations Climate Conference on Climate Change, on 11 December in Paris. Photo: AFP

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