Negotiators from nearly 200 countries will convene in Paris in December with the aim of forging a legally-binding international climate agreement. The new pact will incorporate more ambitious national commitments to address climate change than ever before. But what is the proper yardstick for measuring success in Paris?
Climate, Energy & Transport
China committed to establish a national emissions-trading program, while the United States announced new actions to help reduce its emissions 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.
While dealing with sooty clouds from massive forest fires in recent weeks, Indonesia submitted its post-2020 climate action plan, committing to an unconditional target of a 29 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, compared to a business-as-usual scenario.
President Xi Jinping's visit to the United States comes at a moment of high tension in Sino-U.S. relations. But amid uncertainty around China's economy and acrimony on cybersecurity, at least one issue holds promise for positive collaboration: climate change.
The newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals aim to eradicate poverty and spur economic growth while respecting planetary boundaries. Now world leaders face the difficult task of putting them into action.
Pope Francis’s first visit to the United States marks a spiritual moment that brings an intense focus to the world’s neediest. His arrival comes just as the new Sustainable Development Goals are about to be formalized and three months before the world is expected to unite around a global climate agreement in Paris. This trio of events may signal a profound shift for people and the planet.
It is impossible to succeed in today's economy without access to energy. But for an estimated 1.3 billion people, mostly in the developing world, electric power is still out of reach. Even among those with energy access, many still face unreliable service and regular blackouts. This is why it is so important that we push for Goal 7 of the proposed Sustainable Development Goals: "ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all."
Both the aviation and maritime sectors have a significant role to play in reducing their emissions to help the world stay on a 2 degree C trajectory – with major economic wins ahead if they do.
The finance stream of the UN climate negotiations in Bonn, Germany, last week showed a clearer narrative emerge about the key elements that should be included in the outcomes of the December climate summit in Paris.
This week's climate talks in Bonn made important progress on the core structure of an international climate agreement, but time is short and countries will need to intensify their efforts to set the stage for success at COP21 in Paris in December.