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This proposal is based on Paris 2015: Getting a Global Agreement on Climate Change, a report prepared by 5 non-governmental organizations



This seed proposal is a summary of Paris 2015: Getting a Global Agreement on Climate Change created by a Climate CoLab Fellow. We invite other CoLab members to link to this proposal or to use it as a starting point for creating a new proposals of their own. Christian Aid, Green Alliance, Greenpeace, RSPB, and WWF have not reviewed or endorsed this summary.

A Plan put together by a group of NGOs offers an input into the Paris climate talks to take place in December. Authors suggest that there is a need for a new kind of document, which would reflect a new approach of nationally defined ambitions and plans for carbon reduction instead of old “top-down” targets. Paris agreement may create a synergy effect: a new legal framework can allow individual countries do more than they could alone.

To ensure meaningful action on climate change, the deal must contain the following elements:

Ambitious action before and after 2020:

It is important to have a strong package of pre-2020 mitigation action in addition to ambitious plans for after 2020.

A strong legal framework and clear rules:

It is crucial to ensure that political commitments are delivered with the help of clear, shared accounting system and transparent monitoring and reporting mechanisms.

A central role for equity:

An agreement should be fair for all and allow for comparisons of national contributions and progress based on appropriate indicators and countries’ circumstances.

A long term approach:

A future-oriented regime based on five-year commitment periods should allow for ambition enhancement and aim to phase in clean technologies (and phase out fossil fuels) by 2050.

Public finance for adaptation and the low carbon transition:

An agreement should ensure scaled up public finance for climate action and sustainable development and take broader measures to attract private investment in the low carbon economy.

A framework for action on deforestation and land use:

A new agreement should cover forest protection, land use and agriculture. Three elements are central: proper financing, clear rules for emissions accounting, and involvement of local communities into decision making.

Clear links to the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals:

The two agreements are complimentary and have synergy potential in some areas, especially in low carbon development, climate adaptation and resilience, and new flows of finance.

Following specific suggestions for the agreement, the Plan looks into what had changed from Rio to Paris, discusses prospects for an agreement and makes a case for why a global agreement is needed.

Since Rio conference in 1992, when UNFCCC was signed, quite a few things have changed globally. There is a greater scientific certainty in human induced climatic changes. There is also broader national action and governmental responses to climate change, including legal frameworks, national and regional plans and policies. Another change is happening in economic investment, as markets in low carbon goods and services are growing steadily.

With regard to prospects for an agreement, the Plan makes a few key points. First, a shift in positions of the US and China encourages certain optimism. Second, negotiations in Paris will have a much clearer timetable and a more developed institutional framework than the failed 2009 COP in Copenhagen. Third, the case for action is widely understood, as consequences of inaction and benefits of action become clearer.

In an attempt to answer the question why a global agreement is needed, the Plan refers to the reports of IPCC, which provide greater evidence of human induced climate change causes and consequences and demonstrate a growing consensus on the matter. The Plan also suggests that a global agreement can help boost economic prosperity by ensuring better legal frameworks and signals for businesses on a massive scale. 

Which plan do you select for China?

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Which plan do you select for India?

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Which plan do you select for the United States?

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Which plan do you select for Europe?

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Which plan do you select for other developing countries?

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Which plan do you select for other developed countries?

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What additional cross-regional proposals are included in your plan, if any?

How do the regional and cross-sectoral plans above fit together?

Explanation of the emissions scenario calculated in the Impact tab

What are the plan’s key benefits?

A new climate agreement shall:

- improve individual ability of countries to tackle climate change

- provide clear signals and legal frameworks for businesses

- help meet international development aims (eliminate poverty, improve health and build security)

- benefit the natural environment by reducing biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation


What are the plan’s costs?

What are the key challenges to enacting this plan?


The Plan refers to both post 2020 commitments, as well as an ambitious pre-2020 action package.


Christian Aid, Green Alliance, Greenpeace, RSPB, and WWF, Paris 2015: Getting a Global Agreement on Climate Change, 2014