The Paris deal promises to keep temperature rises below 2°C. However, the actual promises made here will do almost nothing to achieve that. It is widely accepted that to keep temperature rises below 2°C, we have to reduce CO₂ emissions by 6,000Gt. The UNFCCC estimates that if every country makes every single promised Paris deal carbon cut by 2030 to the fullest extent possible and there is no carbon leakage, CO₂ emissions will be cut by 56 Gt by 2030.
The maths is simple: in an implausibly optimistic best-case scenario, Paris leaves 99pc of the problem in place. To say that Paris will get us to “well below 2°C” is cynical posturing at best. It relies on wishful thinking. It’s like going on a diet to slim down, but declaring victory after the first salad.