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      A short history of the successes and failures of the international climate change negotiations

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            The last 30 years have been a period of intense and continuous international negotiation to deal with climate change. During the same 30 years, humanity has doubled the amount of anthropogenic carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. There has, however, been progress and some notable successes. In 2015 at COP21, 196 countries signed the Paris Agreement stating that they would limit global temperatures to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and would pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. This was followed up at COP26 in Glasgow with many countries pledging to go net zero emissions by the middle of the century. But currently these pledges, if fulfilled, will only limit global average temperature to 2.4˚C to 2.8˚C. This article reviews the history of international climate change negotiations and examines what the key objectives are for future COP meetings.


            Author and article information

            UCL Open: Environment Preprint
            UCL Press
            14 August 2022
            [1 ] University College London
            [2 ] Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, 180 Borough High Street, London, SE1 1LB
            Author notes

            This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

            NERC NE/L002485/1

            All data generated or analysed during this study are included in this published article (and its supplementary information files).
            Earth & Environmental sciences
            climate change,negotiations,UNFCCC,COP26,COP27,Paris Agreement,Kyoto Protocol,net zero,climate emergency,environmental social movements,The Environment,Policy and law,Climate,Sustainable development


            Date: 05 September 2022

            Handling Editor: Dr. Lucilla Spini

            This article is a preprint article and has not been peer-reviewed. It is under consideration following submission to UCL Open: Environment for open peer review.

            2022-09-05 08:43 UTC

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