Satellite view of Tropical Cyclone Winston, the strongest ever to hit Fiji, on 21 February 2016. Graphic: NOAA

By Ed King
19 February 2016

(Climate Change News) – "After Paris, what now?" is a comment increasingly heard in conversations with civil society activists, diplomats and government officials.

A senior figure involved at the Paris talks asked me recently if I’d heard what plans NGOs had to keep the pressure up on leaders through 2016. They’d heard little. Neither, I confessed, had I.

It’s a curious state of affairs given last December nearly 200 countries finally agreed to start walking towards a future without fossil fuels.

But there are concerns that the diplomatic masterstroke signed off in the French capital was the zenith – and now world leaders have other things on their mind.

Fears of a global economic slump, US presidential elections, crashing oil prices, Syria, Brexit and the militarisation of the South China Sea have knocked global warming off the front pages.

Add to that a mini exodus of the key figures who helped make Paris a success: UN climate chief Christiana Figueres leaves in July, COP21 president Laurent Fabius unexpectedly quit this week. […]

There remains a lingering suspicion that many governments just wanted to get through Paris without causing a fuss, without contemplating what avoiding a 1.5 or 2C world really means.

Few of the so-called High Ambition Coalition have revealed how they will translate their soaring COP21 rhetoric into action.

Despite pushing for the inclusion of a 1.5C goal, the EU and leading members like the UK have declined to turn the dial on their climate plans accordingly.

According to carbon market news service Carbon Pulse, carbon prices barely budged after Paris, given the lack of short term implications of the pact, and have since fallen in the EU and US. [more]

Climate change has dropped off the political radar

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