The Paris Agreement has set the world on course for transformative climate action to cut emissions, promote clean energy, build climate resilience, and catalyze climate action investments. The Agreement’s backbone is transparency and accountability on the steps countries are taking toward these goals. This transparency is vital for building international trust and confidence that action is taking place as well as for assessing how to facilitate further action.
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.
"Under President Obama, the United States has sent a clear message at home and abroad that it's serious about climate action," write WRI Board member and former Governor of New Mexico Bill Richardson. "We've vastly increased fuel efficiency standards for vehicles, set standards to limit carbon pollution under the Clean Power Plan, and brought China and other countries together around firm international commitments for action."
Climate adaptation is an important part of the discussion at COP21, since climate change is already hitting some parts of the world hard. Here are some key questions and answers about adaptation's role at this pivotal climate conference.
While much of climate change discussion focused on critical issues of reducing emissions to avoid dangerous levels of warming, it is important to remember that warming is already happening, and that it contributes to worsening drought, floods, extreme weather and other serious impacts. Encouragingly, action to adapt to these impacts are also part of the discussion at the Paris climate talks currently underway.
Forests, which cover about one-third of the land on Earth, are an often under-appreciated resource for addressing climate change. But this year, things could be different.
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.
The risks and opportunities involved in addressing climate change are becoming better understood in cabinet and board meetings around the world.