What Do the Experts Think About the Paris Agreement? Katharine Hayhoe Offers Insight

The COP21 Paris agreement has garnered plenty of praise (and a little doubt) from the global community. Was it ambitious enough? Will it redirect the course of climate change? With a deal of this magnitude, designed to carry us through five years of climate initiatives, it's difficult to determine what the agreement means without relying on hypotheticals. 

To understand the robust agreement, some of America's leading experts on the issue offer insights on the historic agreement, including Katharine Hayhoe, Associate Professor and Director, Climate Science Center, Texas Tech University. Apart from being a climate scientist, Hayhoe is an Evangelical Christian. While I parse those two particulars, I'd wager to say that Hayhoe views these two aspects of her life as inseparable.  

For Hayhoe, her work in climate science has everything to do with being an Evangelical Christian, but perhaps not in the way you might imagine. As an Evangelical Christian (as with many people of faith), acting on climate a moral responsibility, and one we take seriously. 

With the COP21 having come to a final agreement, what does one of Time Magazine's 'most influential people' think about the global pact? For Hayhoe, the agreement is like having 'the biggest and most ambitious grant proposal of [her] career…funded.' Getting the green light to move forward on climate initiatives is a breath of fresh (smog free) air. And still, it does something even greater. It sends a very clear message that our leaders care about climate change and are going to do something about it. 

Find out what Hayhoe (and other experts) think about the Paris agreement and let us know what you think in the comments below.

Historic Paris climate pact reached – experts react

The Conversation 

After two weeks of negotiations in Paris, the world’s nations have reached a global deal to tackle climate change (read the text here). The agreement commits 196 countries to help limit global warming to “well below 2℃ above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5℃”.

Under the agreement:

Countries will pursue their self-determined emissions targets from 2020 onwards.

The national targets will be reviewed and strengthened every five years.

Global emissions should peak “as soon as possible”.

By the second half of this century, greenhouse gas emissions should be balanced out by sinks, processes that remove them from the air.

Developed nations will contribute at least US$100 billion a year from 2020 to help poorer nations deal with climate change.

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