Realizing the 2016 Paris Climate Accord
Last Updated on August 4, 2020 by Marc-Antoni
Christiana Figueres: The Inside Story of the Paris Climate Agreement
A Win for Humanity
On Earth Day, April 22, 2016 the vast majority of the world’s countries formally signed the Paris Climate Accord (see UNFCC). In this global first, the nations of the world formally & legally pledged to collectively tackle the climate crisis. The crisis is by no means solved, but it is a critical first step on the path to dealing with this immense global emergency.
Before it was even a formal accord however, it was an unanimous decision. This agreement was reached by all the countries of the world, as they met in Paris to discuss climate change during the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference (aka COP21, held from Nov30- Dec12). The above TED Talk is given by Christiana Figueres (Twitter), the one responsible for helping orchestrate this amazing achievement.
Figueres was admittedly daunted by the task of having to get the world’s nations to agreement. There was so much working against the possibility of success, and plenty of disheartening evidence. As Figueres explains, her strategy was to consciously select optimism as a choice. The stakes could not have been higher! We’re literally talking about global catastrophe if we cannot mitigate the climate crisis in time. It’s certainly worth fighting for.
Thankfully, she and countless others, succeeded in driving world’s nations to agreement. It’s also worth considering how her optimistic approach positively impacted the struggle and eventual achievement. It was about harnessing each’s individual need/desire within the larger goal of the framework, and firmly establishing it as within everyone’s interest.
The Fine Print
The 2016 Paris Climate Accord was ratified by the the EU Parliament on October 5, 2016 (European Parliament), formally passing the agreement’s requirement that at least 55 nations, representing 55% of total greenhouse gas emissions, join in (UNFCC).
The agreement thus goes into force 30 days later, as of November 4, 2016 (NRDC). It is my sincerest hope that the world’s leaders will continue to build on this achievement. It’s not however entirely up to them. It’s rather on all of us, to push for the the future we want to see and fight for bolder climate action. There is still so much to get done, but thankfully, we’ll always have Paris;)