A good number of commentators on the Paris COP have shared views that could be summarized as the “COP was a success-but-. . .”. Others have appraised the COP as a complete ‘success’ or a fraud .
The ‘success but’ message depends heavily what criteria one has for judging a successful outcome of an international negotiation.
Clearly some countries, UN-system, and some media commentators have domestic and international rationales for declaring a ‘success’ in Paris –even it is just the act of concluding an agreement irrespective of the contents of the agreement or whether it actually changes in the world for the better.
The following questions look at the definition of success but in different ways . They are intended to challenge a number of the presumptions behind the assessment of ‘success but’ advocates.
1. Goals and reality : a profound gap – The COP formally adopted a below 2 degree goal and de facto approved a 3.7 degree package of intended nationally determined contributions.
Why is so much post-COP attention on the goal and not on the planet instability of what Governments accepted ? Or put in another way should the outcome of the meeting be called the Paris 1.5 degree COP or the Paris 3.7 degree COP ?