The 12 December Paris climate agreement has been widely acclaimed, described by many as a historical deal, following the failure of the previous summit in Copenhagen in 2009. A total of 195 nations confirmed in a legal framework their ambitions to phase out fossil fuels, and embark on a low-carbon and more sustainable future. And while observers and analysts are now seriously questioning its real substance, key oil and gas companies and institutions have welcomed the agreement.

The key purpose of the agreement, which will replace the Kyoto protocol from 2021, is spelt out in Article 2, whereby nations agree to limit the increase in the global average temperature to well “below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels,” as soon as possible. Another key provision of the agreement consists of setting up mechanisms for reviewing countries’ carbon targets every five years based on transparent reports of how these are reached. A roadmap will also be ironed out for raising climate finance to $100bn by 2020, with a further $100bn-plus of new financing by 2025. (CONTINUED - 1150 WORDS)