While this is a historic moment, there have been some doubts raised over whether or not it goes far enough. The agreement aims to keep warming to within 2°C while “endeavoring” to keep it below 1.5°C, which was much more dramatic than anyone thought it would be. But the aims given for each country to achieve are not thought to be enough to meet this target, especially considering the world has already warmed by over 1°C.
The general consensus seems to find that even if every country sticks to its commitments as outlined by the Paris agreement, warming will be limited to at best 3°C, and possibly up to 4°C. This may mean that certain degrees of climate change will be inevitable and unavoidable, including rising sea levels that will put the survival of many island nations in danger, threatened food security, and more extreme weather events.
But it could be argued that this landmark moment will offer more than the initial commitments, as this will hopefully provide the building blocks on which to construct further initiatives and policies to limit emissions to an even greater degree.
It also goes some way to show that the political will seems to be gaining traction and that the world’s governments can indeed band together, as demonstrated earlier by the Montreal protocol that saw CFCs banned.