Getting Specific on the 2015 Climate Change Agreement

Suggestions for the Legal Text with an Explanatory Memorandum

Published: 13/05/2015

This ACT 2015 paper offers a set of ideas for what the 2015 international climate agreement could look like in legal terms. It is the result of hundreds of in-depth consultations with representatives from governments, NGOs, business, and other stakeholders over the last two years and aims to serve as a reference tool for decision-makers on the road to Paris.

The suggested legal text recognises the intimate connections between mitigation, adaptation and support, and moves away from an approach centred only on mitigation. It calls for three overarching frames:

  • a long-term goal to reach net zero GHG emissions as early as possible in the second half of this century (noting different timeframes for developed and developing countries)
  • a long-term goal to reduce the vulnerability and build the resilience of communities facing climate impacts that would guide both national and international efforts
  • five-year cycles for strengthening countries’ actions to reduce emissions, adapt to climate change and support low-carbon and climate-resilient development in a manner that is fair to all countries.