The European Climate Foundation Welcomes the Historic Paris Agreement

The historic accord agreed at the end of COP21 in Paris last weekend was a breakthrough moment in combating the worst ravages of man-made climate change to the benefit of humanity.

The Paris Agreement lifted climate ambition in all of the 195 countries of the UNFCCC, and made breakthroughs in the way the world approaches this most global of issues.

Firstly, this is a truly global agreement, with action committed by all nations. These are national plans for change, shaping low-carbon and prosperous economies worldwide. This is simply one of the largest collective efforts the world has ever made in any sphere.

Secondly, the developed and advanced economies came together to ensure that those most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change will receive the support they need to protect their people and livelihoods and to create pathways to sustainable prosperity.

Thirdly, with the 5-year review of progress and the great ambition of the net-zero goal, we have a credible approach to stabilising global temperatures well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels including a renewed impetus on reaching 1.5°C.

And lastly, the agreement clearly signals the beginning of the end of the fossil-fuel era.

Philanthropy has a role to play in the implementation of this historic accord encouraging all actors to move forward in the interests of cleaner and healthier energy. Rich countries will need engagement from civil society, business and philanthropy to manage the now inevitable phase out of coal fired power plants. Philanthropy can also support efforts to leapfrog the coal era elsewhere in the world. Oil and gas business models are also set for change and philanthropy is needed to help advance emerging fossil-free solutions on mobility, reducing costs through efficiency and cleaner industry. New waves of investment in the scaling of renewable, electricity storage and efficiency technologies are now coming and that process needs to work in the interests of all to bring a healthier, cleaner, more prosperous and sustainable future.

Challenges lie ahead and there is much to be done, but the commitment of the world’s leaders supported by the skilled diplomacy of the French Presidency of the COP and a broad mobilization of civil society and philanthropy have delivered a landmark agreement that creates a springboard for the great task ahead.