ACT 2015 consortium releases comprehensive legal suggestions for climate negotiators to secure an ambitious 2015 climate agreement

WASHINGTON (April 27, 2015)—Following a highly engaging consultation with climate negotiators, hundreds of government representatives and other stakeholders over two years, today the global consortium Agreement for Climate Transformation 2015 (ACT 2015) released legal suggestions for securing an ambitious and fair climate agreement in 2015. The proposal, “Getting Specific on the 2015 Climate Change Agreement: Suggestions for the Legal Text,” captures the priorities and capabilities of the global community, offering policy makers a unique tool to inform their decisions leading up to and during the climate summit in Paris this December.

The proposal details legal text for each article of the Paris agreement, including three overarching frames:

  1. A long-term goal to have net zero GHG emissions as early as possible in the second half of this century, noting different timeframes for developed and developing countries;

  2. A long-term goal to reduce the vulnerability and build the resilience of communities facing climate impacts that would guide both national and international efforts; and

  3. Five-year cycles for assessing and strengthening countries’ actions to reduce emissions, adapt to climate change and support low-carbon and climate-resilient development in a manner that is fair to all countries. These three cycles should be equal in their importance and universal to all countries but with differing approaches depending on each country’s circumstances.

“This proposal represents a strong and achievable outcome in Paris that would send clear signals to the world that the low-carbon transition is accelerating,” says Jennifer Morgan, global director, Climate Program, World Resources Institute. “It describes a realistic path forward to address climate impacts communities are facing today and escalate climate action over time. Based on input from hundreds of government, business and NGO representatives, we hope it will serve as inspiration for negotiators as the pace of the talks intensify.”

The proposal reflects the real-world priorities and capabilities of countries, as well as the choices that the consortium determined necessary and achievable to secure a positive outcome in Paris. For example, the ACT 2015 consortium chose not to include a quantitative adaptation goal, as proposed by some developing countries, instead calling for a long-term qualitative goal combined with a robust adaptation cycle that would be strengthened regularly. The legal suggestions are coupled with a memorandum explaining how decisions and choices were made.

“This proposal reflects a balance of priorities and required hard choices – the same difficult choices that climate negotiators need to resolve in the months ahead,” says Prof. Dr. Sebastian Oberthür, Institute for European Studies, Vrije Universiteit Brussel. “This proposal demonstrates that it is possible to reconcile the interests of all major stakeholders and reach an ambitious climate agreement in Paris.”

“Getting Specific on the 2015 Climate Change Agreement: Suggestions for the Legal Text” builds on dozens of research papers by the ACT 2015 consortium, including the study “Elements and Ideas for the 2015 Paris Agreement” released at the climate summit in Lima, Peru last year.

The ACT 2015 consortium is the broadest effort to date to engage countries, stakeholders and governments toward reaching a 2015 global agreement. WRI serves as the secretariat of the consortium which is led by leading national and international institutions and experts from academic institutions and organizations from developing and developed countries.

Partners include:

  • Ateneo School of Government (The Philippines)

  • E3G (Third Generation Environmentalism) (United Kingdom)

  • Ecofys (Germany)

  • Energeia

  • Institute for European Studies – Vrije Universiteit Brussels (Belgium)

  • PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (The Netherlands)

  • Tsinghua University (China)

  • Youba Sokona

Access "Getting Specific on the 2015 Climate Change Agreement: Suggestions for the Legal Text" at