For Rolling Stone‘s February issue, contributing editor Jeff Goodell reported on the United Nations climate negotiations held last month in Katowice, Poland (“Saving the Paris Agreement“). The conference was tasked with fleshing out the rules for the landmark Paris Agreement, the 2015 accord signed by nearly every nation in the world, agreeing to voluntarily take action to limit global warming to 2 C.
The conference was at risk of being an epic failure because of President Trump, an unrepentant climate denier who announced his intention to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement just a few months after taking office. So it was not surprising that the White House spat in the conference’s eye by sending a delegation that touted the virtues of fossil fuels — “sort of like touting the virtues of cheap whiskey at an AA meeting,” Goodell says.
But Goodell’s reporting focuses on a team of seasoned climate negotiators that was quietly sent to Katowice from the State Department and who worked constructively with China and other key nations to make the conference a success, developing relatively strong rules of the road for Paris moving forward.
See the video above for more from Goodell on the Paris Agreement, Trump and how “climate meetings can’t manufacture the political will to save the climate. That’s up to you and me and every other citizen of the rich, industrialized world.”