World leaders make History with Climate Deal in Paris

Delegates from 195 nations green-light new accord that seeks to keep average temperature increase below 2 degrees C.

Delegates from 195 nations reached an unprecedented agreement on global climate change on Saturday in the French capital, Paris, after two weeks of intense negotiations.

The historic deal comes after negotiators from key nations – including China, the United States, and India – gave their approval to a draft accord presented by host France earlier in the day.

The legally binding pact limiting greenhouse gas emissions provides the world a roadmap for breaking away from fossil fuels that have powered the global economy since the Industrial Revolution.

Posted by UNFCCC on Saturday, December 12, 2015

The Climate Group and its States, Regions and business members: Paris deal “heralds change
of course from fossil fuel to a clean economy”

The Climate Group and its business and sub-national government partners from the US, Europe, China, India and beyond called today’s climate agreement “a victory for science and vision which calls time on the fossil fuel age and charts us firmly on course for a clean industrial revolution.”  Quotes from India, China and North America experts also included below.

Mark Kenber, CEO of The Climate Group, said: “20 years of lengthy, challenging climate negotiations have finally come to fruition here under the skilful expertise and diplomacy of the French Government and the UNFCCC. It gives us the long term climate goal we wanted, and a clear roadmap on how to get there. This gives policymakers, businesses and investors the certainty they need to move ahead and build a low carbon economy.

“This is undoubtedly a momentous result and a watershed moment for mankind: it will enable us to unleash the trillions of investment that will spearhead a low carbon economy.

“Business, state and regional leaders have had a transformational role in the run up to Paris. They were committed to a deal being done because they are convinced that the low carbon future is the only option for them. This agreement will allow them to go further and faster in their own ambitious plans and policies, and ensure that the transition to the new, smart economy is a swift one. The creation of the We Mean Business coalition, which The Climate Group helped to found and has strongly supported since its inception, has undoubtedly been a major contributor to the success of these talks.

“States and Regional governments are key to implementing climate policy in areas such as energy regulation and public investment. Subnational leaders across the world are leading the field in developing near, mid and long term policies because they understand it generates jobs, builds a prosperous economy and is the best investment in their own future. They have long been leading, will continue to lead, and will be the key implementers of this Paris accord.

“When we set up The Climate Group 10 years ago, it was to change the negative and inaccurate broken record around climate change, and to reconstruct the narrative around rebuilding a prosperous low carbon economy. We knew the key players in this were businesses and state and regional leaders, and we’ve been working with leaders and cultivating alliances to support this moment for over a decade.

“This is only the beginning of the journey and opportunity. Imagine what can now be achieved by these leaders with a global deal that supports and encourages them to go even further. What’s clear today is that the world has changed: the low carbon economy is now inevitable, irresistible and irreversible.

“The Climate Group will now be working to hold governments to account in implementing this historic deal, and also working with the non-state actors – businesses and subnational governments – who will be critical to transforming the global economy on a low carbon path and rapidly bending the emissions curve downwards.” 

The Compact of States and Regions, a reporting mechanism for state and regional governments to submit climate targets, announced on Monday plans from 44 reporting governments to collectively reduce their emissions by 12.4 GtC02e by 2030 – greater than China’s current annual output.

The global business initiative RE100 also passed a milestone at COP as The Climate Group – which leads the initiative in partnership with CDP – announced there are now 53 of the world’s biggest brands committed to sourcing 100% of their electricity from renewable energy. Estimates show that these companies alone would generate demand for 90.1TWh of renewable electricity,  around 0.4% of global electricity or 1% of electricity used by industry – more than enough to power Hong Kong and Singapore combined. The switch would save around 56Mt of CO2 every year – broadly the same as Morocco’s emissions.

Changhua Wu, Greater China Director, said: “There is no doubt this is a landmark day for the world and a landmark moment for China; both in regards to the deal, but also its own commitments throughout 2015. China is a unique country that will play a huge role in this deal becoming reality, but one that is expected to be fully reflected in China’s 2015 Economic Working Meeting and also the upcoming 13th Five-Year Plan. In this, we expect more ambitious targets to emissions reduction and energy transition that will set China on a more solid foundation to deliver its INDC commitment. Today ushers in a new era when the world starts to travel -firmly and clearly- on a journey to travel together towards emissions neutrality.”

Krishnan Pallassana, India Executive Director, said: This deal positively reflects on India’s contribution to the collective global commitment; balancing responsibilities and capabilities on one hand, with aspirations and needs on the other. In India, there is a golden opportunity for the private sector to take advantage and move towards a prosperous low carbon future by demanding as well as investing in clean energy. The benefits for business are threefold: greater energy security, affordable supplies, and recognized leadership internationally. The Climate Group welcomes this prevalent move from the Modi government and we look forward to more Indian corporate companies joining the RE100 campaign to embark their support towards effective climate action.

Amy Davidsen, North America Executive Director, said:  “This deal in Paris was a watershed moment for many reasons. It is sending a clear signal that investment dollars will move away from past solutions to the present to accelerate development and deployment of a clean, thriving future for the entire planet. he fact a global deal was announced today shows that every country in negotiating rooms clearly understands the inevitable role the low carbon economy plays in our future. North American businesses, states and provinces understand this already and have been investing in and innovating climate solutions for several years –however these talks have created unprecedented climate support and action, from multiple states and provinces committing to the Compact of States and Regions to the announcement from Google and other major US corporates joining RE100 this week. However, this is just the start. Technology, policy and business will continue to innovate, and this new, clean economy will continue to evolve and generate more opportunities for the future we all want and crucially need. And these new market signals will help be both the encourager and enforcer of the agreement.”