In the month since COP21, there has been no shortage of commentary dissecting the talks. You can read about how COP21 was historic, the world’s greatest diplomatic success, and the end of the fossil fuel era.
You can also read about how it’s a frayed life-line for the world’s poorest people, a sham, and the disappointing but inevitable result of a corporate circus.
You can read about how it’s not enough from the perspective of a young Canadian who attended the conference. And you can read about what it was like to be a young feminist activist speaking out on the conference.
From where I stand, the gist of it (in brief) is that the pledges that countries have submitted still set us firmly on the path to a devastating 3 to 3.7 degrees Celsius in temperature rise. The much-hailed 1.5C degree promise is vague (the parties agreed to “pursue efforts” in line with it), and the window mentioned as the timeline for reaching zero net emissions is far later than what science says we need. Over the course of the 2 weeks of negotiations, we watched the draft text shrink as reference to Indigenous rights, the rights of occupied peoples, meek suggestions that rich countries might ever have to pay compensation for countries most affected by climate change, specific goals for climate finance, and any references to fossil fuels all disappeared.