There are some very good answers already, but I don't see this specific point being addressed and it's important. New technology doesn't always pan out. Period. If we go back to the late 1970s, when there was genuine belief that oil shortages were here to say, scientists and politicians were talking about the electric car and solar power as a gasoline alternatives. 40 years later the electric car is still around, and it's been significantly improved, but it's very far from a practical replacement for the gas-combustion engine. Solar power has considerably improved as well and it's price of manufacture has fallen precipitously, but it's limited by battery technology, transmission efficiency and intermittent sunshine. Pardon my language but technology is a bitch. It can be wonderful but it's not a guarantee.
It's also worth pointing out that the Paris accords were April 2016, and your articles are from July 2016 and September 2017. It's unclear if progress in the field of solar energy conversion of CO2 had been announced at the time of the Paris meetings.
Moving onto your question, and I think it's a very fair question:
Why is there so much focus on producing less CO2 rather than investing
in technology to recycle it?
The talk that came out of the Paris accords was reduction, that's 100% accurate, and fair arguments can be made (pointed out in some of the other answers) that reduction is the most effective approach given current technology.
That doesn't mean that research is being ignored. Find me a politician who says "Reduction is the only solution so I'm cutting off research into new technology". Have you ever heard that? I've never heard a politician say that. I've heard politicians say that about their opponents. It seems to me that the politicians who want to address climate change and make goals of reductions are also the politicians who are willing to fund research. Your two articles mention government funded research (The University of Illinois Chicago and the department of energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Lab) so, government funding is behind the two articles you posted, that counts for something (though it's possible some of the funding is corporate/private)
It's also possible that some politicians and some nations have other agendas in play, like an oil importing nation might have a vested interest in reducing it's demand for oil imports, or (and this happens on both sides), they may be speaking to their audience who wants to hear the words "reduction" or the flip side, wants to hear the words "hot air" or "conspiracy". Politicians talk to their audiences, but that doesn't mean they don't consider technological alternatives.
Obama, for example, got a lot of heat for Solyndra and Solyndra had promising technology, but it was a business with plummeting prices and lots of international competition, which makes it hard to turn a profit. There are accusations of China stealing the Solyndra technology and mass producing it while avoiding the development costs, but such accusations, whether true or not, go outside the scope of this question.
There's also the issue that it's problematic to announce a solution based on a technology that isn't finished. The ready date is out of their hands, so any agreements based on same are like houses built on sand, but they can reach an agreement on proposed reduction.
You're right that such promises may not be met and the effectiveness of un-kept promises is, well, borderline, but keep in mind actual CO2 footprint numbers do take into account carbon capture, so they aren't ignoring new technology in their agreements at all. They may not be talking up new technology, but they aren't dismissing it.
Given the nature of politics, politicians are between a rock and a hard place. As you said, reducing the CO2 footprint is hard. Politicians say what they can sell and, as pointed out in other answers, based on today's technology, reduction appears to be the way to go. So there's a few reasons why politicians focus on reduction.
Scientists don't have a constituency to answer to so they can be more brazen in their words. Few politicians, for example, propose nuclear power as a key first step solution to climate change, but some scientists have proposed exactly that. Few politicians will say "the ocean will rise 7 feet in 50 years", but some scientists will give that borderline alarmist warning to anyone who will listen (note, Michael Mann didn't say the next fifty years, he said we could see that kind of rapid rise at some 50 year interval in the future). His words being twisted aside, Politicians tread more carefully and talk to their constituency.
It's easier for a scientist to be pro nuclear power than a politician with an environmental base. (and not all scientists are pro nuclear power as a way to address climate change, nor am I advocating that, I'm just pointing that when they are pro nuclear, it's easier or them to come out and say so). Nuclear power also raises security concerns in many parts of the world, and I feel that I'm sidetracking, so I'll stop now.
A bit of science:
The problem with CO2, as noted in one of your articles is that it's a very stable, very tightly bound molecule. We can't "recycle it" without putting more energy into it than the oil or coal gave us when burning it and that defeats the purpose. It's also problematic to capture and transport because it's a gas. Consider that 1 kg of oil when burned, produces about 3 kg of CO2 gas. Even if we don't recycle and just capture, capturing that much gas is logistically intensive and expensive and for vehicles, impossible. For coal power planets, CO2 capture is possible but expensive (see clean coal). CO2 recycling/capture is nothing new, and it's been researched since the Carter administration, but it's never been cost effective.
Most people don't understand climate change even though it's reasonably straight forward, but it's remarkable how many people don't understand it. Veritasium did a video where he interviewed people about climate change and asked what they did and the most common answer was recycling, which, he pointed out, was a good thing to do, but not a solution for man made climate change. Given voters limited understanding, I'd give politicians some leway in providing simple answers (reduction), though I hope that in their meetings they get into more specifics.
However, there are emergent technology to recycle CO2 such as this
one or this one. Using such technologies may reduce pressure
on industry to produce less CO2.
First, your two articles are basically the same technology. I read both articles, haven't researched them in detail, so they may use different methods, but it's essentially the same approach, solar energy, using some tricky chemistry involving "nanoflake tungsten diselenide" (article 1) and "copper-silver nanocoral cathode" . . . and an "iridium oxide nanotube anode" (article 2). to convert the stubborn CO2 molecule into some kind of fuel - yeah!!!. Great stuff if it works.
It's worth mentioning That article 1 specifically mentions silver being used in the past, but being too expensive to be practical and article 2 mentions the use of "copper-silver nanocoral" so, lets not get too excited until we actually see the cost effectiveness in action.
To remove a couple hundred billion tons of CO2 from the atmosphere (that's what it would take to realistically address climate change - 33 billion tons is added every year, about 15 of that goes into the oceans every year, we've added, in the last decade alone, nearly 200 billion tons of CO2 to the atmosphere. To "solve" climate change or bring it down to 1980s levels, we'd probably need to pull about 500 billion tons of CO2 from the atmosphere by this method.
How long would that take? How much would it cost? How much area would need to be covered by these man made "leafs" It's said that solar panels 335 km square (about the area of Arizona) could supply the world's energy needs, but that ignores storage and transmission.
Source of image.
This proposal would supply electricity to Europe, and it's expected to cost half a trillion dollars.
I like your articles. Don't get me wrong. They're actually very cool and if they work, downright brilliant, but they've not even left the drawing board. To be practical, we'd need to know what they would cost, how long they would be effective, how much CO2 they could capture, who would pay for them and any other possible effects like toxicity. If progress is made, and some projects are built as a test run, it's possible that politicians will discuss the ideas in your articles at the next climate accord in 2020 something. (the date's probably out there, but a quick google search didn't provide it).