Don’t Abandon the Paris Temperature Target

Now Is Not the Time for Climate Defeatism

Droplets of water fall from a melting ice block harvested from Greenland and installed on Place du Pantheon for a project called Ice Watch Paris, in Paris, December 2015. Benoit Tessier / REUTERS

We are living through one of the most disruptive moments in modern human history, as the early impacts of climate change coincide with the onset of massive economic, technological, and social transformation. In this period of extraordinary challenge and obligation, it would be wrong to become indecisive or to consider no longer pursuing the goals that to date have driven climate action. In short, to abandon the target of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels—as close to 200 countries have promised to aim for in the landmark Paris agreement on climate change—would be a grave mistake.

Yet at this crucial moment, Ted Nordhaus (“The Two-Degree Delusion,” February 8) advocates that the international community do just that. He risks blindfolding policymakers to the available solutions to meeting the target while betting on unproven technologies that could do more harm than good. In consequence, Nordhaus also risks chaining our

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