Articles on COP21

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More than 160 nations will sign the Paris Agreement on its opening day – a record for a United Nations treaty. Aotearoa/Wikimedia Commons

The Paris Agreement signing ceremony at a glance

More than 160 countries are expected to sign the Paris Agreement in New York on April 22. But enough countries will also need to ratify the treaty domestically before it can become international law.
We’re talking about a lot of seeds. Great Divide Photography

Why we won’t be able to feed the world without GM

The concerns about genetically modified foods are well known. But when we look at population and climate projections, what happens if we don't use them to increase our food supply?
Bill Gates pioneered the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, an initiative by 28 billionaires to push for more funding for clean energy. EPA/Ian Langsdon

Why the rich should do more to save the world

In the age of austerity, governments have limited resources to invest in new areas of research – like clean energy – that have multiple risks. Billionaires like Bill Gates can help plug the gap.
Public interest and peer pressure among countries are integral to enforcement of the Paris Agreement. Mal Langsdon/Reuters

The day after Paris: politicians hand the baton to green industries

The Paris Agreement recognizes the reality of global environmental pacts: the private sector must lead transition to low-carbon technology and civil society must keep up the pressure to act.
Bringing down the gavel, and bringing down the house: French Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius symbolically ended the Paris climate talks, applauded by UN climate chief Christiana Figueres. Reuters/Stephane Mahe

Beyond Paris: what was really achieved at the COP21 climate summit, and what next?

What's next, now that the Paris climate summit is over? We've created a special report for you, featuring two dozen of our best articles on the scientific, political and economic challenges ahead.
Love between countries is more important than strong legal agreements. Ryan Rodrick Beiler /

Why soft climate deals are better than tough ones

The Paris climate deal has been criticised for not being strong enough. But behavioural economics studies show weak deals can work out better in the long run.
The Paris agreement introduces a new mechanism for international co-operation. AAP/Samuel Boivin

How will carbon markets help the Paris climate agreement?

Despite there being no reference to the words “market mechanism” or “carbon market” in the agreement, the agreement clearly establishes a new international carbon market mechanism.
Job done: COP21 president Laurent Fabius. Reuters/Stephane Mahe

Historic Paris climate pact reached – experts react

At the Paris climate talks, the world has signed up to the first truly global treaty to tackle global warming. Our experts react.

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