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This Happened

This Happened—December 12: Paris Agreement is Signed

Often referred to as the Paris Climate Accords, the Paris Agreement is an international treaty aimed at forcing countries and companies to change their behavior to reverse climate change. It was signed on December 12, 2015 at the end of the COP21 United Nations Climate Change Conference near the French capital.

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Who is part of the Paris Agreement?

The Paris Agreement was negotiated by 196 parties at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, and as of September 2022, 194 members of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) are parties to the agreement. The United States withdrew from the agreement in 2020, but rejoined in 2021.

Does the Paris Agreement really work?

The agreement is thought to be very important by world leaders, but criticized as lacking teeth by some environmentalists, as there is some debate about the effectiveness of the agreement. Still, the Paris Agreement has been successfully used in climate litigation forcing countries and large corporations and oil companies to strengthen climate action.

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Geopolitics

The Trumpian Virus Undermining Democracy Is Now Spreading Through South America

Taking inspiration from events in the United States over the past four years, rejection of election results and established state institutions is on the rise in Latin America.

Two supporters of far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro dressed in Brazilian flags during a demonstration in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

Bolsonaro supporters dressed in national colours with flags in a demonstration in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, on November 4, 2022.

Ivan Abreu / ZUMA
Carlos Ruckauf*

-Analysis-

BUENOS AIRES — South Africa's Nelson Mandela used to say it was "so easy to break down and destroy. The heroes are those who make peace and build."

Intolerance toward those who think differently, even inside the same political space, is corroding the bases of representative democracy, which is the only system we know that allows us to live and grow in freedom, in spite of its flaws.

Recent events in South America and elsewhere are precisely alerting us to that danger. The most explosive example was in Brazil, where a crowd of thousands managed to storm key institutional premises like the presidential palace, parliament and the Supreme Court.

In Peru, the country's Marxist (now former) president, Pedro Castillo, sought to use the armed and security forces to shut down parliament and halt the Supreme Court and state prosecutors from investigating corruption allegations against him.

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