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Under the Paris Agreement, the global governmental signatories embraced the goal to hold global average temperature increase to “well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels” while “pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.” Almost every country in the world signed on to the Paris Agreement, adopting the prevailing science that anthropocentric greenhouse gas emissions would result in rising global temperatures and catastrophic damages from climate change in the absence of immediate action. In pursuit of this goal, the signatories agreed that all member countries would work together to bring greenhouse gas emissions to zero within the second half of the twenty-first century. In order to meet the 1.5°C goal, the world must reach 80% zero- emission energy by 2030 and must be 100% carbon-free by 2050.


This paper was originally published by the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation in the Proceedings of the 67th Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute (2021). Reproduced with permission.