News Release

Paris Climate Deal a “Fraud”


The Guardian reports: “James Hansen, father of climate change awareness, calls Paris talks ‘a fraud.'” Says Hansen: “It’s just bullshit for them to say: ‘We’ll have a 2 [degrees] C warming target and then try to do a little better every five years.’ It’s just worthless words. There is no action, just promises. As long as fossil fuels appear to be the cheapest fuels out there, they will be continued to be burned.”

CHRIS WILLIAMS, ecologyandsocialism at
Williams wrote the book Ecology & Socialism: Solutions to Capitalist Ecological Crisis. He is a long-time environmental activist with a scientific background and has authored numerous articles on the science and politics of climate change and energy for various media outlets. He’s a writer-in-residence at Truthout, educator and professor at Pace University.

Williams said today: “Despite the self-congratulatory statements from world leaders praising themselves for single-handedly saving the world from climate catastrophe on December 12th, 2015, the reality is that they have set the planet on course to burn. Science tells us that emissions of greenhouse gases, principally carbon dioxide emitted by the combustion of fossil fuels, need to peak by 2020 and come down by 6 to 10 percent every year after that, yet ‘fossil fuels’ are not mentioned once in the entire agreement signed in Paris. Hence, there is no mention of stopping exploration for more, stopping building coal plants, oil pipelines, or fracking for more natural gas. Even more pathetic than the non-deal and failure in Copenhagen in 2009, the Paris text doesn’t even include emissions from air travel or international shipping; a glaring omission when one realizes the two combined add up to the emissions of Germany and Britain, and are projected to increase by 350 percent over the lifetime of the agreement.

“[The agreement] is entirely voluntary and therefore has no enforcement mechanism. Should there be a need to tighten voluntary pledges (and there most certainly is a need, as they have been assessed as putting us on track for 2.7-3.5 degrees C of warming), nothing will be reassessed for another eight years, as world leaders can sit around until 2023. While fossil fuels production continues to get incentivized and subsidized to the tune of trillions of dollars per year, the rich developed world, responsible for 75 percent of historic emissions, can barely muster a commitment to $100 billion annually (let alone the actual cash), in climate finance to help developing countries transition from fossil fuels.

“Should any developing country have the temerity to attempt legal means of redress after suffering from the change in climate that this [agreement] guarantees, the United States made sure language was included that prevented seeking recompense for ‘loss and damage.'”

See series of interviews with Williams on The Real News.