Paris: optimism, pessimism and realism

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Brian Heatley Green House, the green think tank, Lorton Barn, Weymouth, Dorset, UK

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The climate agreement signed in Paris in December 2015 has been widely hailed as a huge step towards limiting climate change to a safe 2°C. It is not; Paris locks the world into a future where at least a 3–4°C rise by 2100 is virtually inevitable. This will mean a world where there will be massive famine and conflict in much of Africa and the Middle East, serious hunger in South Asia, huge migration pressures but manageable problems in the Americas and more difficult but probably still manageable problems in Europe. Globalisation may collapse, which will be particularly challenging for the UK with its dependence on food imports and international trade. In politics the 200-year hegemony of the idea of progress will be over, while our focus will become more local, putting great pressure on the idea of human universalism.

Brian Heatley Green House, the green think tank, Lorton Barn, Weymouth, Dorset, UK

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Global Discourse
An interdisciplinary journal of current affairs