Innovative farming practices can help farmers in the Sahel become more resilient to the impacts of climate change. Photo by M. Tall/CCAFS West Africa
The world is at a pivotal moment. As part of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), countries are currently hard at work to create an international climate agreement by 2015 that can both respond to the growing impacts of climate change and drive a global shift to a low- carbon economy.
There have been other attempts to do this in the past. The Kyoto Protocol of 1997, the Copenhagen Accord, and the Cancun and Durban decisions all were steps forward, but neither the level of emissions reductions achieved nor the international rules and norms established are up to the challenge of solving climate change. It’s clear that the new agreement must be different from the litany of past compacts, protocols, accords and decisions—but how?
As the official negotiations have been underway, a small group of experts has quietly been thinking through these tough issues, conducting research and convening governments and stakeholders such as businesses, NGOs, labor and faith representatives and others around the world. Today, this group of experts, known as the Agreement for Climate Transformation 2015 (ACT 2015) partnership, releases Elements and Ideas for the Paris Agreement. The publication includes ideas on how various elements could be crafted to produce the strongest and most effective agreement possible. Here, we outline functions and core components to help design a new international climate agreement that goes further than any other previous plan.