Why Paris Will Probably Fail and How to Make It Work: A Systems Perspective
Free Public Lecture
Australian-German Climate and Energy College
Level 1, 187 Grattan St
T: (03) 8344 4124
Current pledges under the Paris Climate Agreement are inadequate, but the agreement is intended to evolve over time. The Paris Agreement is designed to increase action through a ratchet mechanism obligating countries to put forward stronger targets, political pressure and a 'signal' to investors to transition towards low-emissions activities.
This presentation provides an analysis of how Paris could work over time from a systems dynamics perspective. It shows that there is neither strong evidence nor theoretical grounds to believe that peer-pressure, the ratchet mechanism or the low-emissions investment signal will work. The agreement also contains inbuilt delays which are likely to push agreed global temperature targets out of reach. Paris as an architecture for changing state behaviour in a sufficient timescale is likely to fail. Yet, understanding the Paris Agreement as a system also provides the basis for improving it.