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.
Climate, Energy & Transport
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.
Under the U.S. Clean Power Plan, Pennsylvania must reduce power sector emissions by 24-25 percent below 2012 levels by 2030. New analysis shows the state's existing clean energy policies and opportunities to make better use of existing power plans could get it more than halfway to that emissions target.
The Montreal Protocol, designed to protect Earth's ozone layer, is one of the most successful environmental treaties ever. The time is ripe to use the Protocol to phase down the use of climate-warming hydrofluorocarbons, known as HFCs.
Brazil has what may seem like a fortunate problem: public finance is too readily available for transport projects, and this can undercut the market and crowd out private investment. A successful example of private investment in public transport is Sao Paulo's Linha 4, which integrates disparate transit systems and improves access to jobs.
After key negotiations in Bonn, we're in the homestretch to COP21, the pivotal global meeting in Paris in December where countries will agree on a new international climate agreement. Negotiators made significant progress at Bonn, but a strong COP21 outcome requires a much more vigorous pace.
The upcoming decisions at the Paris negotiations present an opportunity to put our global community on the right path, providing appropriate short-term signals for investors and innovators, as well as a strong long-term signal that guides the phase-out of greenhouse gas pollution.
Climate negotiations in Bonn this week are an essential prelude to the pivotal global meeting in Paris in December where countries will agree on a new international agreement to cope with a changing climate.