Washington, D.C. — Following a groundswell of climate pledges from developed and developing countries over the last year, world leaders are set to approve a new international climate agreement when they meet in Paris for the 21st Conference of the Parties, or COP21, to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, or UNFCCC. The Center for American Progress has released an issue brief on the Paris summit that explains the status of the negotiations, the potential of the emerging agreement, and the sticking points that could emerge during the talks.
“The Paris summit could come to mark an era of effective climate cooperation and a global shift toward clean energy,” said Gwynne Taraska, CAP Senior Policy Advisor and author of the issue brief. “The UNFCCC has 195 country parties—sometimes with conflicting interests—and there are plenty of controversial issues to be navigated in Paris. But it is possible that the parties, motivated by the security, health, and economic threats of climate change, will come together to produce a successful agreement.”
The key to the success of the agreement may lie in its structure. Unlike the Kyoto Protocol, which required emissions reductions only from developed countries, this agreement will elicit climate action from all countries. Similarly, unlike the Copenhagen Accord, which resulted in emissions reductions that are insufficient to curb climate change, the Paris agreement will create a framework that elicits increasingly strong emissions reductions over time. The Paris summit offers a major opportunity for world leaders to steer the global economy toward a low-carbon and climate-resilient future.
Click here to read the issue brief.
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