Paris climate talks reach the final stretch, plus a 90 second recap

CC BY 2.0 Mark Dixon. Demonstrators take to the street during the U.N. Climate talks in Paris. The sign reads: “It’s the climate that’s in a state of emergency.”

There’s a lot to digest from the United Nation Climate talks in Paris, which are reaching their final stretch before the end of the summit this week. If you’re pressed for time, here’s a short and sweet recap from Climate Desk reporter Tim McDonnell that will only take a minute and a half:

Still reading? Why, thanks! So, as mentioned in the video there are still some big things to be worked out. Below is a bit more about three of those issues that need to be addressed.

Money Money Money

The poorest countries in the world are also some of the most vulnerable to the devastating effects of climate change that have already been set in motion. These same countries have also historically been very small contributors to global emissions. So, it would only be fair for rich, developed countries who historically benefitted from burning fossil fuels to help those countries pay to adapt to a changing climate. But there’s a lot to be worked out about who will pay, and how that money will be distributed.

One notable promise: yesterday the U.S. agreed to double the amount of money the country is committing to help other nations pay for climate adaptation.

For more on climate finance check out this post from World Resources Institute.

Ramping Up

The current promises countries have made are a big step in the right direction. But more emissions cuts will be needed in the coming years to keep the climate from warming more than a global average of 2 degrees Celsius, or better yet, 1.5 degrees.

The details of how that “ramping up” will happen remains to be worked out.


The goal of the agreement is to fight global warming, and reduce dependence on carbon-emitting fuels. But how completely and how soon? The draft text has a couple of potential choices: "climate neutrality" or "decarbonization" or something else. It could also have a timeframe of reaching one of these goals by 2050 or 2100—and that’s a huge difference.

“The choice here is clear: delaying a just transition off fossil fuels into next century is incompatible with climate justice,” writes’s Duncan Meisel. “We don't have another lifetime to wait.”

Paris climate talks reach the final stretch, plus a 90 second recap
There’s a lot to digest about from the Paris Climate talks, so if you’re short on time, here’s a nice and simple recap from Climate Desk.

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