Because the Paris Agreement is a universal, legally binding agreement to tackle climate change under international law, it joins other such agreements as the highest expression of political intent and will. That sends a strong signal to corporations, planners, investors and others that governments will enforce climate policies.
Climate, Energy & Transport
What led to the successful adoption of the Paris Agreement at COP21? WRI's Michael Oko sees persistence, determination and the increasing clarity of climate science as key factors.
Climate negotiators who helped craft the new Paris Agreement have long wrestled with language about the long-term goal to give guidance to investors and policymakers on what they need to do and when. There's a complex balancing act involved.
The Paris Agreement is an historic turning point in global action on climate change. This universal pact sets the world on a course to a zero-carbon, resilient, prosperous and fair future. While the Agreement is not enough by itself to solve the problem. it places us clearly on the path to a truly global solution.
In the final days of the Paris climate conference, the idea of greenhouse gas emissions neutrality has emerged as a way to frame the long-term goal to limit the rise in world temperatures. Here are five key questions and answers about this critical concept.
"The shift to a clean energy economy is inevitable -- it's no longer a matter of if, but when," WRI President and CEO Andrew Steer writes. "Elected officials can make America a leader in this new clean energy future and ensure that Americans enjoy better health and a more vigorous economy."
What will the final outcome of the Paris climate talks be called? An agreement? A package? A treaty? As delegates make progress crafting the negotiating text at COP 21, there has been intense discussion about its legal form. Here are seven questions and answers to help understand this important issue as we head towards the climate conference's final week.
More than 150 heads of state converged in Paris to kick off COP21 climate negotiations and show their resolve to tackle the climate challenge. In their opening speeches, leaders made it clear that they came to act. Many national leaders from developing and developed countries joined together to launch major new initiatives, some in partnership with the private sector.
When leaders signed the original convention on climate change 23 years ago, the occasion had a tone of strong moral purpose and promise. In Paris next week, we have the opportunity to fulfill that promise.
With international climate negotiations mere weeks away in Paris, there is keen interest in how countries' climate action plans, known as INDCs, will address climate change. A new assessment shows 80 percent of INDCs submitted so far -- including those from the world's eight biggest emitters -- call for an increase in the supply of clean energy.