The Paris climate conference closed with a bang on Saturday evening by adopting a strong, clear, and honest agreement. The deal will not guarantee that the world stays within 2°C or reaches the more ambitious 1.5°C limit, but it lays out for the first time a framework for getting there. Crucially it does so without denying the reality gap between actions to date and what’s needed to save the planet from dangerous climate change.
The previous 18 months and in particular the last 12 hectic days have been a masterstroke of international diplomacy, politics, and public education. The French climate team under the leadership of Laurent Fabius and Laurence Tubiana has been outstanding. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Christiana Figueres have been working patiently behind the scenes for many years to build support, and key leaders like President Obama and President Xi have staked out common ground. Countless other, including many members of the SDSN Leadership Council, have been instrumental in clinching an agreement that almost everyone would have thought impossible just two weeks ago.