C2ES statement on a global climate agreement in Paris

Statement from the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES)

December 12, 2015

Contact: Laura Rehrmann, rehrmannl@c2es.org, (cell) 703-774-5480

On the achievement of the Paris Agreement:

C2ES President Bob Perciasepe:

“We came into Paris with unprecedented momentum for climate action, and we’re leaving with a landmark agreement that’s certain to help strengthen that momentum going forward.

Countries have been trying for years to craft an effective climate agreement. What made a difference this time was a groundswell from the front lines – mayors, governors, and CEOs who showed they’re taking the lead and pressed national governments to do more.

Two forces drove Paris: the real and rising risks posed by climate change, and the opportunities presented by a clean-energy transition. These forces will keep driving stronger action and investment, and the Paris agreement will help ensure that all are doing their fair share.

U.S. leadership was essential to delivering the deal. Through strong action at home, the United States showed it was prepared to do its part. Through dogged diplomacy abroad, it helped persuade China and others to do theirs, too. We must count on continued U.S. leadership in the months and years ahead to bring the Paris agreement into force, fulfill our commitments, and keep strengthening our national climate effort.

At C2ES, we believe this agreement sets the stage for global economies to grow with innovation while the world begins the hard work of mitigating climate risk.”

C2ES Executive Vice President Elliot Diringer:

“The Paris agreement is a pragmatic deal that delivers what’s needed – tools to hold countries accountable and build ambition over time. We’ll only know for sure years from now, but this new global approach could prove transformative. 

By giving countries the flexibility to define their own contributions, the agreement gets all the major players on board with concrete commitments to control emissions. But it does more than stitch countries’ goals together. It requires them to report regularly on their actions and their emissions, so we know if they’re sticking to their promises. And it brings them back to the table every five years to keep doing more.

This cycle of commitment – tell us what you’ll do, show us you’re doing it, tell us what you’ll do next – will strengthen confidence that all countries are doing their fair share. And that will make it easier for each to do more.

No one summit or agreement will solve climate change. But the Paris agreement converts the unprecedented political will of the moment into a long-term framework that can keep strengthening political will going forward. It undercuts old excuses for inaction and sets in motion a new dynamic among countries that promises growing effort by all.”

About C2ES: The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization promoting strong policy and action to address our energy and climate challenges. Learn more at www.c2es.org.