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Making the Paris Agreement Work

The Environmental Forum, September/October 2016

Widener Law Commonwealth Research Paper No. 15-42

7 Pages Posted: 21 Jul 2016 Last revised: 15 Aug 2016

John C. Dernbach

Widener University - Commonwealth Law School

Donald A. Brown

Widener University - Commonwealth Law School

Date Written: July 20, 2016

Abstract

In the December 2015 Paris Agreement of the parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, nations unanimously agreed to a goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by the second half of this century, and a plan for achieving that goal. The challenge now is implementation. This article briefly outlines the key features of the Paris Agreement as well as the daunting challenge of meeting its goals. It suggests six essential elements of an approach to encourage or incentivize parties to greater ambition. These are 1) achieving the targets set in nations’ intended nationally determined contributions; 2) setting and achieving more ambitious short-term and long-term goals; 3) creating technical, policy, and legal pathways to decarbonization; 4) creating a race to the top in reducing greenhouse gas emissions; 5) widespread public participation and support; and 6) a global social movement. It also describes ways in which all parts of civil society, including lawyers and policy makers, can help make the Agreement work.

Keywords: Climate Change, Decarbonization, Zero Carbon, Global Warming, Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project, Paris Agreement

JEL Classification: K19, K32

Suggested Citation

Dernbach, John C. and Brown, Donald A., Making the Paris Agreement Work (July 20, 2016). The Environmental Forum, September/October 2016; Widener Law Commonwealth Research Paper No. 15-42. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2812264

John C. Dernbach (Contact Author)

Widener University - Commonwealth Law School ( email )

3800 Vartan Way
Harrisburg, PA 17110-9380
United States

Donald A. Brown

Widener University - Commonwealth Law School ( email )

3800 Vartan Way
Harrisburg, PA 17110-9380
United States

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