Follow-up to my post on the Paris climate agreement.
To help you out – and to check for myself whether I hadn’t got the whole thing wrong – I’ve had a go at redrafting the Vice-Chairs’ non-draft in their non-paper, shrinking all options to one. It’s now comprehensible and of reasonable length (11 pages). Link to downloadable version.
The selection was entirely personal and has 0 promises of votes. I just took whichever option that seemed strongest, clearest or shortest. So what you have is in the top decile of the large universe of possible texts that could emerge from the drafts on the table. The outcome will almost certainly be worse than the King James Version: fuzzier, weaker, and more confused. But it probably won’t be that much worse.
For the most part, I resisted the professional bureaucrat’s temptation to improve. In three cases, explained in the intro, I thought it was essential. My changes (not selections) are marked in red.
Given a free hand, I could clean it up and cut it down a lot more. Dream on.
With any known make of pen, snarled Mitty, I could have redrafted the treaty at 1000 miles to six pages with my left hand.
Postscript 30 July
In hopes of stimulating some reaction, here are my drafts of Articles 2 and 3, to compare with the extracts of the real working document I cited in the previous post:
The objective of this agreement is to further enhance the full, effective and sustained implementation of the Convention in order to achieve the stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. Such a level should be achieved within a time frame sufficient to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change, to ensure that food production is not threatened and to enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner. To these ends, all Parties will strive to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions and maintain and increase resilience to the adverse effects of climate change.
3. COLLECTIVE EFFORTS
All Parties, in accordance with Article 4 of the Convention and their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities shall make individual efforts and cooperate with a view to achieving long-term emission reductions and stabilizing greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system, consistent with holding the increase in global average temperature below 2 °C or 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels. Developed country Parties shall take the lead by undertaking ambitious emission reductions and Parties included in annex [Y] shall provide finance, technology and capacity-building support to developing country Parties.
I move the 1.5 degree cap to Article 7, “Ambition”, as an aspiration subject to review.