Climate change is a global challenge and requires a global solution. Through analysis and dialogue, the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions is working with governments and stakeholders to identify practical and effective options for the post-2012 international climate framework. Read more
Statement of Bob Perciasepe
President, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions
November 2, 2014
On the release of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Synthesis Report for the Fifth Assessment:
The IPCC synthesis report delivers a critical message at a critical moment. The core findings aren’t new, but the report makes them clearer than ever, and they are worth underscoring.
It’s important to be reminded of the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change as the United States works toward its most ambitious steps ever to cut carbon emissions and nations work toward the Paris agreement.
The core message from the IPCC is the growing urgency of action. We have real opportunities next year to make progress both in the U.S. and globally. The scientists have done their job. Now it’s up to governments to do theirs.
Contact: Laura Rehrmann, firstname.lastname@example.org
About C2ES: The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization promoting strong policy and action to address the twin challenges of energy and climate change. Launched in 2011, C2ES is the successor to the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. Learn more at www.c2es.org.
By Daniel Bodansky and Elliot Diringer
Fridtjof Nansen Institute
Climate Policy Perspectives 13
A primary goal of the Durban Platform negotiations should be to develop an agreement that will maximize reductions in greenhouse gas emissions over time. Achieving this objective will be a function of not only the ambition of the 2015 agreement, but also the levels of participation and compliance by states. A higher level of ambition will not necessarily make the agreement more effective, if fewer states participate or comply.
In many if not most countries, the climate change issue is driven more by national than by international politics, so the agreement needs to allow states to determine the content of their own commitments. This approach represents a concession to political and diplomatic realities, as well as to the limits of international agreements in influencing countries' behavior in an area so vital to their interests.
At the same time, the 2015 agreement needs to prod states to do as much as possible, through multilateral rules on transparency and accountability that help foster a virtuous cycle, in which states make progressively more ambitious contributions. Thus far, the top-down elements of the hybrid approach remain largely an abstraction. What remains to be seen is whether parties will be able to agree on rules that sufficiently discipline national flexibility and promote stronger ambition.
Read more at Fridtjof Nansen Institute
The last time so many world leaders gathered on the issue of climate change was nearly five years ago in Copenhagen. The hard lesson of that fractious summit: No one moment, and no one agreement, can deliver “the” answer. We need to advance step by step, on multiple fronts, from the local to the global. And it will take time.
More than 120 heads of state, including President Obama, are expected, and many will come prepared to announce concrete steps to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Many businesses and nonprofits, some partnering with governments, will also announce new initiatives.
These tangible outcomes will represent important progress in and of themselves. But the larger value of the summit is in focusing leaders on the profound challenges we face, raising consciousness across societies, and building momentum – in particular, toward the new global climate agreement due late next year in Paris.
More than a dozen military leaders say the impacts of climate change threaten military readiness and response and will increase instability and conflict around the globe.
Their assessments are included in a recent report, National Security and the Accelerating Risks of Climate Change, by the CNA Corporation’s Military Advisory Board. The report’s authors – including 16 retired generals and admirals from the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps – conclude that climate change impacts will act as threat multipliers and catalysts. Projected warming, changes in precipitation, sea level rise, and extreme weather events will pose risks to security within the U.S. and abroad.
At home, some of the threats are here and now. Many of the nation’s military installations are in coastal areas vulnerable to rising sea levels and storm surges. For example, the low-lying Hampton Roads area of Virginia is home to 29 military facilities. Sea level in the area is projected to rise 1.5 feet over the next 20-50 years and as much as 7.5 feet by the end of the century. One advisory board member, Brig. Gen. Gerald Galloway, stressed that “unless these threats are identified and addressed, they have the potential to disrupt day-to-day military operations, limit our ability to use our training areas and ranges, and put our installations at risk in the face of extreme weather events.”
Figure 1: Sea level rise projections for the Hampton Roads region, which is home to 29 different military facilities. Source: CNA, 2014
At a meeting last month in Songdo, South Korea, the fund’s board resolved a number of key organizational issues, clearing the way for the fund to start its mission as a channel for finance from developed to developing nations for climate mitigation and adaptation.
Finance for developing countries is a perennial issue in international climate negotiations. Many are hoping developed countries will come forward with new financial pledges at the September summit to help build momentum for a new global climate agreement in 2015. Many developed countries had said they would not make pledges until the fund’s organizational issues were resolved.
The Green Climate Fund will be a principal channel for delivering the $100 billion a year that developed countries agreed in Copenhagen to mobilize by 2020. The board, which is made up of representatives from 24 countries, has been meeting since August 2012 to determine how the fund would be organized and would operate.
DESIGNING A “HYBRID” CLIMATE AGREEMENT
CENTER FOR CLIMATE AND ENERGY SOLUTIONS (C2ES)
INSTITUT DU DÉVELOPPEMENT DURABLE ET DES RELATIONS INTERNATIONALES (IDDRI)
Wednesday, June 11, 2014 15:00 – 16:30
Ministry of Environment, Room SOLAR
An emerging paradigm for a 2015 agreement is a “hybrid” model blending top-down and bottom-up elements. Presentations and discussion will explore ways such an approach can provide the flexibility needed to achieve broad participation while also promoting strong ambition.
Professor, Sandra Day O’Connor School of Law, Arizona University
Program Director for Energy and Climate, IDDRI
Deputy Director, National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Co-operation (NCSC), China
Executive Vice President, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES)
|Negotiators gather for COP 21 in Paris, December 2015. Image courtesy of the UNFCCC, via Flickr.|
The Paris Agreement, reached Dec. 12, 2015, is a pragmatic deal that holds countries accountable and builds ambition over time.
Here are key resources on the Paris Agreement and events leading up to it.
Core elements of the agreement include commitments on emissions, adaptation, finance and transparency, and steps to promote carbon trading.
The real and rising risks of climate change, and the opportunities of a clean energy economy not only drove the Paris Agreement, but will keep encouraging stronger action and investment.
From the objectves, to INDCs to building ambition over time and ensuring accountability, we have the answers to questions on the history of the U.N. climate talks, key issues legal ramifications, implications for U.S. acceptance, and the next steps.
Read a seminal report from the co-chairs of C2ES’s Toward 2015 dialogue, which brought together top negotiators from two dozen countries for a series of candid, in-depth discussions that forged common ground on key issues for Paris.
Businesses started building momentum for an agreement long before COP 21, joining a statement organized by C2ES calling for an agreement that provides clearer long-term direction, strengthens transparency, promotes greater comparability of effort, and facilitates the global carbon market.
This C2ES analysis shows that the U.S. economy-wide target of reducing net greenhouse gas emissions 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025 could be met with additional policies, technological advances, and stronger action by cities and companies.
This C2ES legal analysis examines whether the Paris Agreement can be accepted by the president under executive authority or must be approved by Congress.
The 2015 Paris Climate Conference generated an unprecedented showing of action and support from all levels of society. Here is a sampling of the many initiatives launched in Paris by companies, city state and local governments, and other non-state actors.
C2ES Blog Posts:
- Elliot Diringer: How we helped on the road to Paris
- Bob Perciasepe: Impressions from the Paris climate talks
- Elliot Diringer: Takeaways from the Paris climate talks
- Bob Perciasepe: Paris agreement could be the start of something big
- Elliot Diringer: Will the Paris agreement be a legally binding treaty
- Elliot Diringer:Putting the UNFCCC to the test
- Paris: Looking behind the scenes
- What would a "legal" agreement in Paris look like?
- US climate target encourages others
- The core issues in the Paris climate talks
- Support for a spectrum of commitments to a 2015 climate agreement
- Carbon trading in China: short-term experience, long-term wisdom
C2ES Policy Briefs:
- Key Legal Issues in a 2015 Climate Agreement
- Differentiation in a 2015 Climate Agreement
- Addressing Adaptation in a 2015 Climate Agreement
- Addressing Finance in a 2015 Climate Agreement
- Building Flexibility and Ambition into a 2015 Climate Agreement
- Structure of a 2015 Climate Change Agreement
- Evolution of the International Climate Effort
- Issues for a 2015 Climate Agreement
- Alongside the UNFCCC: Complementary Venues for Climate Action
- The Durban Platform: Issues and Options for a 2015 Agreement
Elliot Diringer briefs the Business Roundtable and members of the C2ES Business Environmental Leadership Council on the Paris Agreement