On November 4, 2016, 194 out of the 196 countries in the world (plus an 195th signature from the European Union) signed the Paris Climate Accord, an agreement bringing countries around the world together to set goals to help combat climate change. The agreement has made headlines in the last few days as the United States has declared their intention to withdraw. In honor of the environmental news coverage, The Sweaty Penguin has found five little known facts about the Paris Agreement.
1. Any country that experiences flooding from rising sea levels may, in defiance of common international law, use the water to fill water guns for use in combat.
As sea levels rise, countries with coasts have begun to worry about the national security risks posed by increasingly frequent flooding. In addition to damaging property, countries must find solutions for draining the water. With the Paris Agreement, countries can now use that water to fill up their water guns, and use those water guns in war against other countries. While stealing international water and initiating war with that water was once considered breaking international law, the Paris Agreement has declared that “it is only fair” for coastal countries threatened by rising sea levels to be able to shoot that water at the countries they aren’t friends with.
2. The Paris Agreement only refers to itself and other agreements in the fourth person.
While we have the luxury of using the third person and calling it “The Paris Agreement” or “The Paris Climate Accord,” fancy legal language requires that the agreement refer to itself and other agreements in the fourth person. In the original text, the Paris Agreement continuously references other past agreements and articles, as well as other parts of itself, which makes it that much harder to follow when it must use the fourth person to do so.
3. The original French translation of the agreement was written by an American who didn’t know French, so he just decided to write the word “croissant” a bunch of times.
The document has been corrected now, but originally, the French translation of the accord just said the word “croissant” over and over for 100 pages. Upon request for explanation, the English-French translator from America explained that croissant was the only French word he knew. Luckily, the old translation has been thrown away and a new translation has been written. Sources report if you read the old translation carefully, the word “baguette” also appears a couple times.
4. The country with the largest meat production decrease can start walking up to the other countries and telling them they’re vegan.
Contrary to popular belief, the Paris Agreement does not impose any regulations on participating countries. Rather, the agreement serves to acknowledge the issue of climate change and incentivize countries to find methods of taking action and report their results. To help keep participants motivated, the agreement added a clause with particular homage to the meat industry, saying the country with the largest meat production decrease can start telling all the other countries that they’re vegan. Noting that saying the words “I’m vegan” is far more satisfying than eating meat, the added clause is widely beloved by member countries, and many predict that meat intake will be eliminated by the human race entirely by 2020.
5. Countries that don’t meet the goals they set for themselves will get their pigtails pulled on the playground by the other countries.
While many critique the fact that the Paris Agreement has no consequence for countries who do not meet the goals they set for themselves, they often forget about a hidden clause which explains that if a country does not meet their goals, they are likely to have their pigtails pulled by the other countries on the playground. Other consequences include being pushed, being kicked off the swings, and not being allowed to be Ace in four-square.