global climate agreement

The Paris Agreement

Negotiators gather for COP 21 in Paris, December 2015. Image courtesy of the UNFCCC, via Flickr.

The Paris Agreement strengthens the global climate effort by requiring all countries to set climate goals and by establishing new mechanisms to hold countries accountable and to build ambition over time.

The agreement was reached in December 2015 and entered into force 11 months later.  In June 2017, President Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the agreement.

A Paris Primer
C2ES answers questions on the talks leading to the Paris climate accord, how the agreement works, key legal issues, the agreement’s status, and next steps.

Summary of the Paris Agreement
A closer look at the core elements, including commitments on emissions, adaptation, finance and transparency, and steps to promote carbon trading.

C2ES Statement on Paris
U.S. leadership and a groundswell of support from mayors, governors and CEOs helped deliver the landmark agreement. 

C2ES Statement on U.S. Withdrawal
The decision to withdraw ignores the many U.S. business leaders – and the strong majority of Americans – who want the United States to stay in the Paris Agreement. 

Business Support for Paris
Leading U.S. companies organized by C2ES signed a letter to President Trump and full-page ads in major newspapers urging him to keep the United States in the agreement.

Toward 2015 Dialogue
C2ES brought together top negotiators from two dozen countries for a series of in-depth discussions that forged common ground on key issues for Paris.

COP 21 Initiatives
A sampling of the many initiatives launched at the Paris Climate Conference by companies, city, state and local governments, and other non-state actors.

Additional Resources:

C2ES Policy Briefs:

Video:
Elliot Diringer briefs the Business Roundtable and members of the C2ES Business Environmental Leadership Council on the Paris Agreement

Takeaways from the Paris climate talks

United Nations area at COP 21 in Paris. (Photo Courtesy of UNFCCC via Flickr).

The Paris climate summit is a tale of lessons learned – lessons both in how to manage an unruly negotiating process that can easily veer out of control, and in how to craft a multilateral approach that gets everyone to do more.

The tale ended thankfully tonight with an agreement that could prove the most significant turning point ever in two decades of climate diplomacy.

The Paris agreement is a pragmatic deal that delivers what’s needed – tools to hold countries accountable and build ambition over time. By giving countries greater confidence that all are doing their fair share, it will make it easier for each to do more.

I’ve engaged closely with the U.N. climate talks since their launch in 1992, and here are some of my takeaways on the ingredients for Paris’ success:

Expectations are a powerful force

Even before the summit started or a single word was agreed, more than 180 countries had offered concrete plans for how they intend to address climate change. This was not because they were obliged to, but simply because there was an expectation set two years ago in Warsaw that they would.

This unprecedented, and largely unanticipated, show of political will created powerful momentum heading into Paris.

The agreement that emerged sets some binding commitments (see below), but much of its force will hinge on the further expectations that it sets: that, going forward, countries will put forward their best efforts, and will strengthen them over time. It creates a succession of political moments, like the one we just experienced, when all can judge whether those expectations are met.

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