International Climate Treaties: The Case for Pessimism

Climate Law, Vol 1, No 1, 2010, pp. 177-197

The COP 15 outcome is consistent with the slow pace and modest achievements made in the course of 20 years of negotiations. There is an increasing realization that supplements will be needed to the UN approach to move the process forward. Still, we have serious doubts that even the cleaverest design and strong political will of key actors will be sufficient to solve the problem. Given the projections for population and economic growth, particularly in the South, the achievement of a temperature-increase maximum of two degrees seems like a mission impossible. The only hope seems to be some kind of technological solution that we are not aware of today.