The European Union officially ratified the Paris climate agreement on Wednesday, along with several member nations. Among them was a most unlikely signatory: Poland, whose reliance on coal had previously threatened the deal….
Why did Poland acquiesce to such a drastic change? One possibility is that the change won’t be very drastic at all.
Despite the EU’s overarching aspirational goals, nation-specific agreements are not included in the legally binding portion of the Paris agreement. Since emissions-reduction policies are nationally determined, countries have more wiggle room than you might guess.
“That flexibility, I think, encourages countries that might be a little more reluctant to join in and do what they can,” Dr. Selin says.