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Paris: optimism, pessimism and realism

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The climate agreement signed in Paris in December 2015 has been widely hailed as a huge step towards limiting climate change to a safe 2°C. It is not; Paris locks the world into a future where at least a 3–4°C rise by 2100 is virtually inevitable. This will mean a world where there will be massive famine and conflict in much of Africa and the Middle East, serious hunger in South Asia, huge migration pressures but manageable problems in the Americas and more difficult but probably still manageable problems in Europe. Globalisation may collapse, which will be particularly challenging for the UK with its dependence on food imports and international trade. In politics the 200-year hegemony of the idea of progress will be over, while our focus will become more local, putting great pressure on the idea of human universalism.
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Keywords: Climate change; IPCC; Paris conference; UNFCCC; adaptation; global conflict; progress; world politics

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January, 2017

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  • Global Discourse is an interdisciplinary, problem-oriented journal of applied contemporary thought operating at the intersection of politics, international relations, sociology and social policy. The Journal's scope is broad, encouraging interrogation of current affairs with regard to core questions of distributive justice, wellbeing, cultural diversity, autonomy, sovereignty, security and recognition. All issues are themed and aimed at addressing pressing issues as they emerge. Rejecting the notion that publication is the final stage in the research process, Global Discourse seeks to foster discussion and debate between often artificially isolated disciplines and paradigms, with responses to articles encouraged and conversations continued across issues.

    The Journal features a mix of full-length articles, each accompanied by one or more replies, policy papers commissioned by organizations and institutions and book review symposia, typically consisting of three reviews and a reply by the author(s). With an international advisory editorial board consisting of experienced, highly-cited academics, Global Discourse publishes themed issues on topics as they emerge. Authors are encouraged to explore the international dimensions and implications of their work.

    All research articles in this journal have undergone rigorous peer review, based on initial editor screening and double-blind peer review. All submissions must be in response to a specific call for papers.

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