The Road to Paris

After seven days of negotiation among 194 nations, the Geneva Climate Change talks concluded with the negotiating text  for a 2015 climate agreement. The agreement, which comes into effect in 2020, is set to be reached in Paris in December. The text allows countries to be fully aware of each other’s positions on climate and will be translated into the UN’s official languages.

The Geneva conference also focused on the durability of the agreements to be made, meaning we expect the Paris conference to have concise legal agreements, as well as set the rules for how countries are expected to tackle climate change in the coming decade. However, the goal for the Paris conference is not to create a concrete set of expectations, but rather to implement a plan that con be adjusted and strengthened over time.

There are still many details that have yet to be worked out. For example, there is not a clear method of how to hold countries accountable for meeting their target, and there is no agreed method for mobilizing resources to help developing countries reduce emissions. The Geneva conference has only laid out the initial details of the final agreement. However, the good news is that countries now have a sense for the options available, and can now prepare for a more productive agreement.


Jackson Fang, Intern