For the planet’s most vulnerable countries, there were two main concerns going into the Paris climate summit. One was where the money will come to pay for the impacts climate change is already having on their countries. The second was to lower the international consensus on how much the global temperature could safely rise.

For vulnerable island nations, this second concern has been key: The internationally agreed upon rise of 2 degrees would essentially render their countries uninhabitable. So, much of the discussions in Paris have been about forcing concessions from these desperate countries. As Naomi Klein says in this video dispatch, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a situation where countries are being negotiated to accept the terms of their own annihilation.”
—The Nation