The Paris Agreement provides a sustainable framework that guides global efforts for decades to come. The aim is to increase countries` climate ambitions over time. To achieve this, the agreement provides for two review processes, each in a five-year cycle. The agreement requires rich nations to meet a funding commitment of $100 billion a year beyond 2020 and to use that figure as a “land” for the additional aid agreed until 2025. In response to the climate challenge, the agreement recognizes that states have common but differentiated responsibilities, i.e. according to their national capabilities and specificities. Commitments made so far could lead to an increase in global temperatures of up to 2.7 degrees Celsius, but the agreement sets out a roadmap for accelerating progress. It is an agreement with an “action agenda” to implement accelerators to ensure more ambitious progress beyond binding commitments. The Paris conference will strengthen the growing number of measures to combat climate change in order to increase the engagement of other heads of state and government. Governors, mayors, businesses, civil society, financial institutions and leaders of all stripes promise individual and collective action that can help address climate change now.
This basic training in the fight against climate change will be an important pillar of the Paris Agreement and must be an essential part of the “hands on deck” effort to combat climate change in the decades to come. Countries must contribute to the continuation of such actions after Paris. The Copenhagen/Cancun agreements essentially established a three-pronged system of transparency and accountability by requiring (1) countries to report their emissions, climate measures and targets on a regular basis; 2. conduct an independent review of experts in these national reports; and (3) assessing progress through an international public review. This system of transparency and accountability needs to be modified and strengthened to require governments to meet their obligations when they reach a lasting agreement. So what should be addressed in the Paris Agreement if we are to put in place stronger international measures on climate change, which are now mobilizing action and which encourage even more action in the years to come (we will outline these key elements in our new `exit letter`? It will also enable the contracting parties to gradually strengthen their contributions to the fight against climate change in order to achieve the long-term objectives of the agreement. Last year, the Consortium Agreement on Climate Transformation 2015 (ACT 2015) focused heavily on thinking about the essential elements of the Paris Agreement. The consortium, made up of large geographic regions, was created to engage a broader group of interest groups around the world, in the country, to inform thought and introduce ideas into formal negotiations.
The efforts involved dialogue with hundreds of people on five continents, as well as research and analysis of the essential elements of the agreement5. This paper presents the consortium`s ideas on how the international agreement can play the most effective and transformative role in the world`s rapid and equitable transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy. The Paris Agreement is the first legally binding universal global agreement on climate change adopted at the Paris Climate Change Conference (COP21) in December 2015. To contribute to the goals of the agreement, countries presented comprehensive national climate change plans (national fixed contributions, NDC).