COP21 - a breakthrough climate agreement in Paris
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. 
By asking all countries to prepare long-term low-emission development strategies through to mid-century that are mindful of 2 and 1.5°C, the agreement translates the Deep Decarbonization Pathways pioneered by SDSN and IDDRI into a central tool for national and international climate policy. The Deep Decarbonization Pathway Project (DDPP) consortium has already prepared 16 country pathways. The project will now organize itself with partners to support interested countries in preparing long-term pathways for decarbonizing their economies without compromising on socio-economic development objectives. We will soon share with you more detailed news on the DDPP.
Below is a selection of reading materials on the new climate agreement:
  • Jeffrey Sachs: Let’s hail the Paris agreement and get to work (FT) – “The diplomats have done their job: the Paris agreement points the world in the right direction with sophistication and clarity. It does not, however, ensure implementation, which remains the domain of politicians, businessmen, scientists, engineers and civil society.”
  • David Waskow and Jennifer Morgan (World Resources Institute) – summary of the key provisions and implications of the Paris agreement
  • The Guardian – a behind-the-scenes look at how the agreement was reached
  • Positive coverage in the Economist
With best regards, 
The SDSN Team