By Luke Kemp, May 20, 2016
The Paris climate agreement has been praised for sending a strong signal to the world that we are now serious about cutting greenhouse emissions.
Yet despite the diplomatic acclaim, the Paris deal doesn’t offer much in concrete terms. It is a simple global show-and-tell regime with no enforcement – if countries miss their targets they will receive little more than a talking-to.
For many, the deal’s saving grace is the message it sends to investors, businesses and the wider world outside diplomatic and political circles. The Economist has summed up this “investment signal” idea well:
Perhaps the most significant effect of the Paris agreement in the next few years will be the signal it sends to investors… [After Paris] the idea of investing in a coal mine will seem more risky.