New: Pivotal Year—WRI’s 2015 Annual Report

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Elements and Ideas for the 2015 Paris Agreement

This document offers the ACT 2015 consortium’s ideas on how the 2015 Paris international climate agreement can play the most effective and transformational role in shifting the world to a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy as quickly and fairly as possible.

Executive Summary

The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate Change recently found that “major structural and technological changes in the global economy are now making it possible to achieve lower carbon development and better economic growth” and that the “scale of investment over the next 15 years means we now have a huge opportunity to create better growth and reduce the risk of dangerous climate change.”

In other words, there is no longer a choice to be made between economic growth and tackling climate change; rather, they are positively reinforcing goals that result in multiple benefits. These findings come in the context of increasing scientific evidence that climate change impacts will be a major obstacle to achieving economic and development goals and that the window of time to avoid devastating impacts is rapidly closing.

Climate change impacts are already visible, they are hitting the poor and vulnerable the hardest, and they pose economic and ethical challenges to governments and citizens around the world.

Governments are now confronted with the growing economic costs of climate change impacts as well as the environmental costs of high-carbon development. Much has to be done at the national, city, business, and citizen levels. However, international cooperation is also essential, and the ongoing UN Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations for a new international Agreement in Paris in December 2015 are central to inform thinking.

Over the past year, the Agreement on Climate Transformation 2015 (ACT 2015) consortium has focused intensively on thinking through the core elements of the Paris Agreement. The consortium, with expert representation from key geographic regions, was formed to engage a broader group of stakeholders around the world, in-country, to inform thinking, and to bring ideas into the formal negotiations. The effort has involved dialogue with hundreds of people on five continents as well as research and analysis on the core elements of the Agreement5. This document offers the consortium’s ideas on how the international Agreement can play the most effective and transformational role in shifting the world to a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy as quickly and fairly as possible.

ACT 2015

There is no longer a choice to be made between economic growth and tackling climate change; rather, they are positively reinforcing goals that result in multiple benefits.


The ACT 2015 consortium, with expert representation from key geographic regions, was formed to engage a broader group of stakeholders around the world, in-country, to inform thinking, and to bring ideas into the formal negotiations. The effort has involved dialogue with hundreds of people on five continents as well as research and analysis on the core elements of the Agreement.

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