Paris Climate Agreement: What’s behind the pretty words


At the last UN session devoted to environmental issues, 31 countries officially joined the Paris climate agreement. Thus, the total number of countries that have ratified the agreement reached 60.

Soft globalism

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who declared the fight against climate change to be his top priority when he took office, thanked the 60 countries and called on the world to follow their example. "I hope that by the time I leave from this post, we will take the remaining 7.5%," - he added.

The UN Secretary-General said that he already received the documents on the imminent ratification of the 14 other countries, including the European Union. They promise to fulfill the conditions of the agreement before the end of the year.


Initially, attempts by some countries to limit carbon dioxide emissions have been criticized by developing countries. A just position on this matter can be seen in Bolivia, which pointed to the fact of serious abuse on the part of the developed capitalist countries in relation to the environment in the 20th century. According to the Bolivian leadership, now some countries of the First World simply want to limit the further technological development of other powers (earlier, the agreements’ initiators would oblige developing countries to pay quotas for carbon dioxide emissions).

Climate and big money

In addition, the role of transnational corporations remains unclear. Ever since the 90’s, many companies moved their production (especially harmful types) to Asian and Latin American countries, leaving their headquarters in the US (and less often in Europe). However, it seems logical to oblige the corporation to implement "green" equipment and to pay the necessary compensation due to excess profits, but this is not mentioned by agreements.

Very big money

However, thinking that the richest companies will suffer after the agreement’s ratification is not worth it. Tt is not by chance that the United States recently, during the G-20 summit in China, urged all countries to ratify the treaty. Then, earlier this month, Barack Obama persuaded the Chinese leader Xi Jinping, after which Japan expressed its commitment to environmental thinking.

In a statement the US State Department published in connection with the ratification, it is said that "in recent years, the United States and China have made cooperation in the field of climate change as a pillar of bilateral relations." However, this is due not to Obama’s care about the world as portrayed in the US media, but the fact that such major changes in the coal market benefit primarily the United States and Australia, which do not have enough to compete with Indonesia, which is the main supplier of cheap coal.

In order to achieve the necessary reduction of carbon dioxide emissions, the signing countries must review the list of suppliers. If China used cheap Indonesian coal, then it is now necessary to move to the US or completely reshape the energy system such as by opting for a nuclear power plant, which, once again, the United States is proposing to build. China, however, has already agreed to build a nuclear power plant with Turkey, which was a big surprise for Washington.

Unsuccessful innovation

The ratification of the Paris Agreement in Japan took place against the backdrop of the parliamentary session called to decide the fate of the Monza innovative reactor. It is reported that the new reactor will most likely have to be demolished because its content is too expensive.

Built in 1995, the experimental reactor using plutonium as fuel and low-enriched uranium almost did not work. Sustaining it in a dormant state makes the government spend $200 million annually, and the prospects of finding a new operator for the project are very blurry.

The main problem lies in the fact that the demolition of the reactor can lead to a sharp turn of the Japanese energy program, since the previous program was aimed at creating a system in which the Monza reactor was meant to play a central role. The complete rejection of the reactor will lead to a halt in the development of this area and, accordingly, a new energy program.

After the accident at the nuclear power plant “Fukushima-1", many of the government's plans in this area have already been revised and the use of nuclear energy on the islands prone to frequent earthquakes has not been approved. Accordingly a new Japanese program will most likely be beneficial for large coal suppliers, and, as in the case of China, the United States hopes to be such a supplier.


The Paris Agreement does not provide for any sanctions or actions if targets are not met. Moreover, in international law there is no obligation to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Therefore, it is most likely that its ratification is for many countries no more than a way to improve their image in the international arena. Most likely, this includes China among them. There are serious doubts that Beijing is indeed going to cease harmful production and use expensive American coal.