The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) signed in Rio in 1992 was a milestone achievement in confronting climate change. It opened a new era of global climate governance, led by developed nations and characterized by multilateral collaboration. The adoption of the Paris Agreement in 2015 saw a truly global response to the global challenge of climate change. However, the United States’ decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement and frustration with the multilateral process cast a shadow on the future of the U.N.-led approach to the climate change crisis. Global climate governance has reached a critical juncture.
How can the Paris Agreement stay on track and achieve its goal? Is it time to reshape climate governance and if so, how? Are there alternative approaches that can unite the efforts of governments, corporations, NGOs, citizens, and the society at large to mitigate climate change?
On August 30, the Brookings-Tsinghua Center hosted a panel discussion to assess the implementation of the Paris Agreement, reflect on how to ensure the current mechanism is effective, and explore new approaches.
Director, The Climate Policy Initiative
Professor - School of International Studies, Peking University
Director - Center for International Organization Studies, Peking University
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Brookings Senior Fellow and former U.S. State Department Special Envoy on Climate Todd Stern spoke at the US Climate Action Center, at the COP 24 UN climate negotiations, on the future of the Paris Agreement in Katowice, Poland on December 10, 2018.
[On the U.S. negotiating team at the COP 24 climate negotiations in Katowice, Poland] They work seriously, effectively and knowledgeably. There is only this technical negotiating team, not a political one.
[On the role of the United States in the U.N. climate negotiations at COP 24 in Katowice, Poland] You cannot underestimate the negative impact of the U.S. being on the sidelines. With Obama, the U.S. had credibility. We brought China along. We moved a lot of countries out of their comfort zones. That’s all missing now.