“We accomplished a great deal and more than we even expected,” U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern said at a Brookings event following the conclusion of the global climate change conference in Paris (COP21). When asked by event moderator Bruce Jones, vice president and director of Foreign Policy at Brookings, Mr. Stern described the key accomplishments:
- The first “universal lasting climate regime … applicable to all parties”
- The fact of 186 individual country targets (INDCs) with a system of review and revision
- Very strong global goals: 2 degrees (Celsius) or even lower
- A new architecture that does not pit the developed against the developing countries
- Strong focus on the issue of adaptation
- A “good balance” for technology support
Stern called it “a high ambition agreement.” Watch:
Read the latest from Bruce Jones and Adele Morris on Beyond the Paris agreement: COP21 shouldn’t be a milestone, but rather a launching pad for a new phase of climate action
Visit our Paris climate change conference page for all research and commentary on the key issues from COP21.
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[On the politics of climate impacts in the U.S.] The political alignment around climate impacts is almost the exact opposite of the political alignment around emissions control.
[On the geographic distribution of climate impacts in the U.S.] The damages to the Republican-electing congressional districts is almost double what it is for the Democratic-voting districts.