"The acceptance of the Paris (climate) agreement was met with cheers that rang across La Seine…But just a few hours before the celebrations, there was a crisis that nearly saw the entire deal unravel agonisingly close to its conclusion.
The sharp-eyed legal advisers in the United States delegation noticed something had changed between the penultimate draft and the final version being presented.Where the word "should" had been used in all previous drafts, the word "shall" was, for some unknown reason, now in its place.
It was a seemingly small error — but one with enormous implications."Should" implies a moral obligation but does not compel a nation to do something. "Shall", however, means there would be a legal obligation to undertake the action.
If the final text used the word "shall" in the wrong place, it would require the Americans to get congressional approval — something universally acknowledged as impossible.If it was not changed, the US would never be able to sign on and China would then not sign on to something to which the Americans were not a party.
But it was not a simple matter of fixing the text.
Some nations saw it as a serious change that required re-opening the negotiations."
Should I or shall I have a beer? Oh how I must debate whether my free will compels me or I have a moral obligation to satisfy my thirst?
Well it's summer now in Australia. How hot is it? It's fucking hot. I think a camel fainted in my rose garden.
I shall should have that beer. For real.