State Destruction and the Cuban Embargo

My small series of blogs regarding Cuba cannot possibly have a global impact on these issues, so what am I doing writing it?

In last week’s blog I warned about the dangers of a country (or group of countries) trying to destroy other states for its own political or economic reasons. I strongly implied that was the US’s aim with Cuba as of the Cuban revolution. Our government has used its economic embargo and intelligence operations toward that end.

Nuclear holocausts and disease pandemics aside, most of the anthropogenic impacts on the physical environment directly result from global population growth and that increasing population’s desire to increase their standard of living. The UN recently published a survey of future global population:

29 July 2015 – The world’s population is projected to reach 8.5 billion by 2030, 9.7 billion by 2050 and exceed 11 billion in 2100, with India expected to surpass China as the most populous around seven years from now and Nigeria overtaking the United States to become the world’s third largest country around 35 years from now, according to a new United Nations report released today.

Moreover, the report reveals that during the 2015-2050 period, half of the world’s population growth is expected to be concentrated in nine countries: India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Tanzania, the United States, Indonesia and Uganda.

The Paris COP21 meeting clearly showed that any global decision to mitigate global dangers rests on commitments and contributions from functional sovereign governments.

The monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force, also known as the monopoly on violence (German: Gewaltmonopol des Staates), is a core concept of modern public law, which goes back to Jean Bodin‘s 1576 work Les Six livres de la République and Thomas Hobbes‘ 1651 book Leviathan. As the defining conception of the state it was first described in sociology by Max Weber in his essay Politics as a Vocation (1919). Weber claims that the state is any “human community that successfully claims the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force within a given territory”;[1] thus, “the modern state is a compulsory association which organizes domination.”[2] In other words, Weber describes the state as any organization that succeeds in holding the exclusive right to use, threaten, or authorize physical force against residents of its territory. Such a monopoly, according to Weber, must occur via a process of legitimation.

According to Raymond Aron, international relations are characterized by the absence of widely acknowledged legitimacy in the use of force between states.[3]

Regardless of whether one accepts the concept or not, with the present lack of enforceable global governance, the execution of any global policy rests with the states. Not all states have governments that can shoulder this responsibility.

The UN population projection lists 9 states whose near future population growth will have the strongest global impact. The table below provides the percentile rank of the 9 fastest growing countries; I have added Cuba for comparison. The World Bank ranks the quality of countries’ governance in terms of 6 indicators. Lower percentiles represent bad governance, while high percentiles equate to effective governance.

Control Corruption Governance Effectiveness Political Stability Regulatory Quality Rule of Law Voice and Accountability
Cuba 70.7 18 51 11.3 17.2 9.6
Democratic Republic of Congo 0 3.4 0 2.94 1.43 4.3
Ethiopia 8.8 6.34 15.9 8.8 21.5 14.9
India 40 53.7 19.2 32.3 59.3 62
Indonesia 30.7 37 13.0 57.3 39.7 23.6
Nigeria 8.8 15.1 13.5 22.5 10.5 4.8
Pakistan 8.8 30.7 12.5 30.9 28.8 28.9
Tanzania 15.1 24.4 22.6 33.3 43.5 25.5
Uganda 28.8 24.4 7.7 57.8 30.1 19.7
US 91.7 92.2 75.5 96.1 92.3 91

The UN population analysis predicts that by the end of the century Africa will surpass Asia as the most populated continent and grow to include more than 4 billion people. Five out of the nine fastest growing countries in the world are located in Africa, but those five are barely functioning states. A look at the table doesn’t inspire a great deal of confidence in these countries’ abilities to lead any global mitigation effort.

Cuba’s entry clearly indicates that its present governance has great room for improvement; it hardly needs the US to destabilize it further by way of the embargo.

The United States embargo against Cuba (in Cuba called el bloqueo, “the blockade”) is a commercial, economic, and financial embargo imposed by the United States on Cuba. An embargo was first imposed by the United States on Cuba on 19 October 1960 (almost two years after the Batista regime was deposed by the Cuban Revolution) when the U.S. placed an embargo on exports to Cuba except for food and medicine after Cuba nationalized American-owned Cuban oil refineries without compensation. Cuba nationalized the refineries following Eisenhower‘s decision to cancel 700,000 tons of sugar imports from Cuba to the U.S.[1] and refused to export oil to the island, leaving it reliant on Russian crude oil. All American oil companies refused to refine Russian oil, leading the Cuban government to nationalize the refineries.[2][3] On 7 February 1962 the embargo was extended to include almost all imports.

Currently, the Cuban embargo is enforced mainly through six statutes: the Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917, the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, the Cuban Assets Control Regulations of 1963, the Cuban Democracy Act of 1992, the Helms–Burton Act of 1996, and the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000.[5] The stated purpose of the Cuban Democracy Act of 1992 is to maintain sanctions on Cuba so long as the Cuban government refuses to move toward “democratization and greater respect for human rights”.[6] The Helms–Burton Act further restricted United States citizens from doing business in or with Cuba, and mandated restrictions on giving public or private assistance to any successor government in Havana unless and until certain claims against the Cuban government were met. In 1999, President Bill Clinton expanded the trade embargo by also disallowing foreign subsidiaries of U.S. companies to trade with Cuba. In 2000, Clinton authorized the sale of “humanitarian” U.S. products to Cuba.

At present, the embargo, which limits American businesses from conducting business with Cuban interests, is still in effect and is the most enduring trade embargo in modern history. Despite the existence of the embargo, the United States is the fifth largest exporter to Cuba (6.6% of Cuba’s imports are from the US).[15] However, Cuba must pay cash for all imports, as credit is not allowed.[16].

America’s embargo against Cuba affects economic, commercial and financial matters. By US law, it will last as long as the Cuban government refuses to move toward “democratization and human rights,” and yet we have seen that Cuba is far from the worst country with regards to implementing those issues. The US also has financial claims of $6 billion against the Cuban government – a result of the broad nationalization that came with the revolution. Again, Cuba is not the worst such offender (Argentina’s recent default comes to mind). Meanwhile, the UN General Assembly has passed an almost unanimous resolution every year since 1992 condemning the embargo. Most international human rights groups agree and President Obama recently denounced the embargo as well. The embargo is an abomination that cannot be stopped as long as the American Congress refuses to pass a resolution to negate it.

Most things in Cuba are run by the state, but the economy is changing fast; in many aspects, it resembles that of China. While visiting Cuba, I had a lot of conversations with locals about what will happen next. The consensus prediction was that the embargo will be canceled sooner or later.

One of the “educational” components of our trip was a short visit to a small facility that keeps old (pre-revolution) American cars running. We had a nice tour of Havana riding in one of these cars and ending with a chat with the shop’s owner. Our driver spoke fluent English; it turned out that he was an English professor at the university but had quit his job in favor of driving around tourists because the pay was much better. He was not alone in this decision. The university is government run and the tuition is free. That unfortunately means that the academic staff is paid very little. This is true with other professional jobs as well. One of the results has been the relatively large emigration of professionals to richer, more market-oriented countries or, alternatively, to private, service-oriented jobs within Cuba. Such a brain-drain is a big loss for any country but it is not restricted to Cuba. The table in the January 26, 2016 blog shows that the pattern is common to other poor Central American and Caribbean countries.

America had a tight-knit, dominant relationship with Batista’s government, which reigned in the roughly 50 year period between Cuba’s independence and its revolution. Our impression was that the embargo will never succeed in convincing Cuba to willingly revert to something that resembles that arrangement, but market forces will bring about changes to its governance as the economy becomes more and more dependent on a service economy and tourism.

My next few blogs will focus on Cuba’s energy and water issues and the joint interests Cuba and the US have in the very narrow strait of water that separates them.

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The Holocaust, Nuclear Winter, and the Cuban Embargo

Cuban Missile Crisis, cold war, bunker, HavanaCuban Missile Crisis, trenches, bunker, binocular

I am starting to write this blog on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Wednesday, January 27th. Today marks 71 years since the liberation of Auschwitz. The end of the week will also mean the beginning of a new semester and back to teaching for me.

I had a cheerful time over the semester break reading about both the Holocaust and the consequences of a nuclear Armageddon before my trip to Cuba. The Holocaust book was Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning by Timothy Snyder. One of my colleagues, a history professor at my school, recommended it to me as the only book he knows of that makes an explicit connection between climate change and the Holocaust. I had heard plenty about The Cold and the Dark: The World after Nuclear War by Paul R. Ehrlich, Carl Sagan, Donald Kennedy and Walter Orr Roberts, but had never read it.

The connection between climate change and the Holocaust is a repeated theme here on Climate Change Fork, starting with my first blog. A new aspect that emerged to me reading Snyder’s book was the importance of the destruction of state in the Nazis ability to industrialize the murder of Jews. The Nazis believed that annihilating Jews would rebalance the planet to a German advantage. To accomplish this, the Germans set about destroying other states with large Jewish populations. They absorbed Austria, tore apart Czechoslovakia and demolished Poland. In fact, some parts of Poland were hit twice: once by the Soviets and once by the Germans. The destruction of the three Baltic States and significant parts of the western Soviet Union accounted for nearly 5 million murdered Jews. That number represents an estimated 90% of the Jewish population of those states. States that were occupied by the Germans but remained functional, such as France, Holland, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, and even Germany, lost a relatively smaller percentage of their Jewish population. Snyder argues that as long as a state functions – in any capacity – it has the power and obligation to protect its citizens.

My visit to Cuba gave a very strong impression that the United States did almost everything in its power to destroy the state government of Cuba following the 1959 revolution in which Castro’s forces deposed Batista’s regime. The United States tried to accomplish this destruction primarily via economic means (i.e. through the embargo and other measures). That said, there were also several documented attempts to reach the same goal using military means, mainly through CIA activities; the most publicized of these was the Bay of Pigs infiltration.

Paul Ehrlich and Carl Sagan’s book summarizes the 1983 Conference on the Long-Term Worldwide Biological Consequences of Nuclear War. It quantifies the physical global events that would take place in the aftermath of a nuclear war. Most of the cases that it shows assume given destructive powers that are a mere fraction of the nuclear arsenal that was available at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis both to the Americans and to the Russians. The concept of a nuclear winter arose from these discussions.

One of the most striking yet simple questions came from the audience after Carl Sagan’s talk: What would happen after a “successful” first strike by one of the sides? The definition of a “successful” first strike was always understood to be one large enough to destroy the capabilities of the other side to respond. Carl Sagan answered, and the other participants agreed, that in most likelihood, if the first strike were to pass some minimum threshold of megatons exploding (Larger than at Hiroshima and Nagasaki but a small fraction of the two superpowers’ arsenals), the striker would commit a collective suicide because the impact of the strike would be global. This response echoes my definition of uncontrolled anthropogenic climate change as self-inflicted genocide on a global scale.

Following its revolution, the new Cuban government didn’t take the hostilities by the United States lightly; nor did it submit to our demands. This was at the height of the Cold War and Cuba found a formidable ally in the Soviet Union. This led, among other things, to the Cuban Missile Crisis. The two photographs were taken on the grounds of one of Havana’s most famous hotels: Hotel Nacional. While the hotel is now swarming with rich Western tourists – many of them Americans, in 1962 the hotel was converted into a major anti-aircraft defense position to protect against an air attack. The bunkers that remain remind us that this event brought the US, Cuba, and Russia the closest to a major nuclear conflict since 1945. As Carl Sagan and Paul Ehrlich aptly pointed out, such a conflict would not have stayed confined to these three countries.

Fortunately, the US and Cuba are now in the process of thawing their relationship, thanks mostly to President Obama’s executive orders. The embargo was put in place by Congress and cannot be lifted without a matching Congressional resolution, but that option is not currently on the table. Two of the leading Republican presidential candidates, Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, are second generation Cuban immigrants with families that left Cuba either directly before or after the revolution. Both of them want Cuba to bend to the US’s whims before they will agree to lift the embargo.

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Back From Cuba

Old_New_Havana Old cars_Cuba

For the semester break I decided to “unwind” with a book about the Holocaust and one on the consequences of a nuclear Armageddon – one covering the painful past and the other looking at a possible end of human civilization. To spice up the vacation, my wife and I decided to travel to Cuba. Given America’s timely relaxation of its travel embargo to the country, we figured it would be interesting to observe the transitions.

The easing of the embargo still does not mean that one can just jet over to Cuba to enjoy a Mojito on the beach and conclude the day listening to great Cuban music. One has to follow strict American guidelines that include being part of a tour. The rule is that

Americans who wish to travel to Cuba will have to meet one of 12 different criteria for authorized travel, as they have in the past. Those categories include family visits, official business of the U.S. government, foreign governments, and certain intergovernmental organizations; journalistic activity; professional research and professional meetings educational activities; religious activities; public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions.

My wife and I don’t like to travel in groups. Fortunately, we contacted a company called “Cuba Educational Travel” that specializes in individualized educational tours. We got together with another couple that likes to travel in a similar way and went on a nine day tour focused on Havana and Trinidad.

As far as I know, the US does not do much to ensure that travelers are actually learning during these “educational” tours of Cuba. Nobody asked us any questions on our way in or out. The US government does not provide tests at any stage of the visit and they certainly don’t require us to repeat the exercise if we don’t demonstrate sufficient learning – as we do in the classroom. However, I am in the business of education, so test or no test, I feel obliged to share what I have learned.

The two photographs at the top were taken in Havana. The first one represents a mixture of colonial and modern architecture in Havana. Cuba won its independence from Spain in 1898; the colonial period spans from Columbus’ arrival until that time.

The second photograph is of a Cuban auto shop repairing a pre-1959 American Chevrolet. Here is what Bloomberg says about Cuba’s classic American cars:

When Fidel Castro came to power in 1959, he made it illegal for anyone to import cars without government permission. The mandate arrested automotive history on the island, and curvaceous mid-century Chevys, Studebakers, and Buicks still rumble down Havana’s Malecón, much as they did half a century ago. Now, with the easing of relations between the U.S. and Cuba, some of the nearly 60,000 vintage cars in Cuba could eventually make their way into collectors’ hands stateside.

Cuba loosened some trade restrictions on automobiles earlier this year [2014], allowing new cars to be bought and sold on the island. Lifting the U.S. trade embargo on the island—a decision that must be made by Congress, not President Barack Obama—would let Cuba’s classic automobiles return to the U.S. after so long. If that does happen, the buyers won’t be traditional car collectors, who prize low mileage and automobiles in pristine condition. For one thing, Castro’s restriction on auto imports stopped the flow of replacement parts, so while a Cadillac convertible in Cuba may look authentic at first blush, a closer look reveals both hundreds of thousands of miles on the odometer and a bevy of makeshift fixes, perhaps even (gasp!) a Peugeot diesel engine under the hood. That said, experts anticipate a niche market of buyers willing to pay a premium to own a piece of Cuban history.

Cubans are very proud of their ability to keep the old American cars running. If you take a cab in Havana or any other Cuban city, it is very likely that you will ride in an old American car, although there are now sometimes alternatives available due to relaxations of the import ban.

My next few blogs will delve into Cuba’s efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change, as well as is the very confrontational relationship between Cuba and the United States since the Cuban revolution.

The table below summarizes some key indicators that will be relevant to these discussions about Cuba. My source for most of the information was the World Bank (data.worldbank.org/indicator); I used incarceration rates from Wikipedia, the United Nations’ data for the Human Development Index, and I took migration numbers from the recent issue of the CIA World Factbook. The table includes Cuba and the United States for obvious reasons but it also includes three other countries in Central America with similar populations and somewhat similar colonial histories to that of Cuba, to serve as reference points.

The Gini coefficient measures economic equality; 0 represents perfect equality and 1 is “perfect” inequality. Cuba’s most recent Gini coefficient was not available through the Word Bank, but it rose from 0.24 in 1986 to 0.38 in 2000.

The Human Development Index is a composite statistic of life expectancy, education, and income per capita. In principle, these factors tell us about the area’s ability to thrive and grow.

Indicators Cuba Dominican Republic Haiti Honduras US
Population (Thousands)(2014) 11,379 10,406 10,572 7,962 319,000
GDP/Capita (2013) (Current US$) 6,790 5,969 810 2,356 52,980
Access of Electricity(2012) (% of population) 100 98 37.9 82.2 100
CO2 emission (2011) (MT/Capita) 3.2 2.2 0.2 1.1 17.0
Adult literacy (2012)(% of population aged 15+) 100 90 ——– 85 ——–
Fertility rate (2014) (Birth/woman) 1.6 2.5 3.1 2.4 1.9
Life Expectancy at birth (2014)(females) 81 76 65 76 81
Infant mortality rate (2014) (per 1000 births) 4 26 54 18 6
Human Development Index (2014) 0.769 0.715 0.483 0.606 0.914
Gini Coefficient (2013) ——– 0.471 0.608 0.574 0.411
Incarceration rates (per 100,000) 510 233 97 196 698
Number of migrants/1000 -3.64 -1.91 -2.76 -1.16 +3.86

Next week I will look into the origin and impact of the American embargo on Cuba.

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Regulating Subsidies

Brent Crude Oil Price PredictionsThe figure above shows the price of Brent crude oil as recorded at the end 2014, along with predictions by two respected financial organizations and the futures market for this past year. The real price today (December 30, 2015) is $36.50 – a drop of about 70% in a year and a half’s time. As it turns out, nobody was right. :(

One of the holy grails of the much-needed transition away from fossil fuels toward sustainable energy sources is finding a way to make sources such as solar and wind price-competitive with fossil fuels. Indeed, over the last few years, a combination of technological developments and production shifts to developing countries, combined with market expansion, did considerably reduce the price of sustainable energy resources and their use expanded considerably.

To help this trend, everyone agreed that we needed to increase the price of fossil fuels at the same time as lowering the cost of the sustainable energy sources. Countries or regions could make that transition to being more “green” (see the map in the May 19, 2015 blog) by changing the price of carbon either through a Cap and Trade policy or a carbon tax.

Carbon pricing was one of the key recommendations of the Kyoto Protocol, but you hardly heard a mention of it in Paris this past year. It was there within the individual country reports but was notably missing from the COP21 agreement itself. By now, everybody has realized that pricing is not the only game in town. If it were, one would expect that a 70% price drop in fossil fuels over a year and a half would lead investors to completely stop acquisitions of sustainable energy sources. In that case, the market would shift back toward fossil fuels, restoring the old balance of global supply and demand and weakening the growth of sustainable energy. As I already showed six months ago (July 2015), this did not happen. Global installation of wind and solar continues to increase.

However, there were major efforts to reduce (or stop) subsidies of fossil fuels – both on the consumption and production sides. This effort did not find its way into the final agreement but, in my opinion, it will have a major impact regardless of the price of oil.

The FFFSR (Friends of Fossil Fuels Subsidy Reform) is a recently formed organization whose chief objective is to lobby countries and organizations to stop fossil fuel subsidies. They made their efforts known throughout the conference. The UNFCCC’s Newsroom summarized their goals:

Paris, 30 November 2015 – An unprecedented coalition of close to 40 governments, hundreds of businesses and influential international organizations has called today for accelerated action to phase out fossil fuel subsidies, a move that would help bridge the gap to keep global temperature rise below 2°C.

On the opening day of the UN Conference on Climate Change (COP21), New Zealand Prime Minister John Key formally presented the Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform Communiqué to Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), on behalf of the Friends of Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform, The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group and other supporters of the Communiqué.

The Communiqué calls on the international community to increase efforts to phase out perverse subsidies to fossil fuels by promoting policy transparency, ambitious reform and targeted support for the poorest.

Governments spend over $500 billion of public resources a year to keep domestic prices for oil, gas and coal artificially low. Removing fossil fuel subsidies would reduce greenhouse gas emission by 10 per cent by 2050. It would also free up resources to invest in social and physical capital like education, healthcare and infrastructure, while leveling the playing field for renewable energy.

Here are some important details to keep in mind:

Setting the scene

There is a widespread high-level consensus that in order to rewire the economy towards de-carbonisation, fossil fuel subsidies will need to be phased out. This is, however, politically, socially and economically complex with a series of barriers preventing rapid progress.

The IEA’s World Energy Outlook on Energy and Climate (2015) states that “despite the recent prolonged period of high oil prices, which pushed the cost of subsidies to crippling levels in some countries, the political climate to enact reform has become more conducive in many cases as international prices have fallen”. The report shows that in particular lower prices have been fundamental to recent fuel pricing reforms in parts of Asia such as Indonesia (recently eliminated gasoline subsidies and capped diesel subsidies). Other countries have also eliminated subsidies such as Malaysia for both gasoline and diesel, Thailand for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) with an increase in the price of compressed natural gas (CNG). Of note is also the Indian government’s recent deregulation of diesel prices.

Recent reforms have been concentrated in net-energy importing countries, but there are also good reasons for reforms in net-exporting countries as oil export revenues decline and governments seek to protect other spending priorities. As in importing countries, reforms may be more palatable to consumers at a time of relatively low international prices. Venezuela and Kuwait (among the largest subsidisers) are reported to be considering reforms, while Iran has previously made reforms and has more scheduled.

The G8, G20, IMF, IEA, OECD and the World Bank have all referred to the phase out of in-efficient fossil fuel subsidies as essential to transition to a low carbon economy and necessary to reduce our global carbon footprint. It has been estimated that the total elimination of fossil fuel subsidies globally will reduce GHG emissions by 13 per cent. However, we recognize that some countries face circumstances under which they believe there are powerful short term drivers for the maintenance of subsidies and that reform will be dependent on particular national circumstances and changing market conditions.

How big are fossil fuel subsidies?

The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates the total fossil fuel subsidy to amount to $548 billion in 2013. This is based on the gap between what consumers pay and the actual cost of supply, but doesn’t consider the environmental and health costs. The OECD calculate that direct budgetary support and tax expenditure for fossil fuel consumption and production in OECD countries amounted to $50-90bn annually between 2005 and 2011. A recent report by an IMF working group estimates that the total cost of subsidies for fossil fuels, including direct subsidies and the environmental and health costs their use imposes were $4.9 trillion (6.5 percent of global GDP) in 2013. In addition to reducing emissions, the IMF calculates that eliminating these subsidies in 2015 could raise government revenue by $2.9 trillion and cut premature air pollution deaths by more than half.

Although it is important to note that the IMF, IEA and OECD do not define subsidies in the same way and hence the estimated costs from subsidies vary between at least $548 billion to $4.9 trillion, the most important message from all three organizations and others is that the costs are high and that the elimination of subsidies would have a net positive impact on the reduction of GHG emissions and pollution.

The issue is complex, especially because there are differences between the subsidies to producers and those to consumers in developing countries; we will follow it closely.

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COP21: Industry Commitments to Sustainability and Using Consumer Pressure to Keep Promises

Last week’s blog looked at Unilever’s CEO’s attempts to make his company sustainable. Unilever is not alone in promising to be more environmentally friendly in the long term. One of the less discussed achievements of COP21 was the mobilization of major nongovernmental organizations to provide their own commitments to sustainability and post them electronically for everyone to see on the UNFCCC site. As of the day I’m writing this, these commitments include 2,254 cities, 150 regions and 2,034 companies.

UNFCCC Climate Commitments - Cities, Regions, CompaniesThis is one of the most encouraging demonstrations of the bottom-up approach to global energy transition that we need to mitigate anthropogenic climate change. That said, it suffers from the same lack of enforcement authority as the sovereign countries that signed the formal COP21 agreement. A new CEO with some earning difficulties might decide that he or she wants nothing to do with these commitments, and happily revert back to carbon-emitting fossil fuels. However, in many cases, the timeline for these commitments is now; there is no need to wait until 2023 for the initial compliance evaluations.

Table 1 shows some of the commitments from various companies, along with their timing (where available).

Table 1 – Companies with 100% of renewable power targets

Organization Country %Renewable Target Year
Marks and Spencer UK 100 2012
Royal KPN Netherlands 100 2013
CommerzBank Germany 100 2013
Almiral SA Spain 100 2014
Bankia Spain 100 2014
Microsoft US 100 2014
SAP Germany 100 2014
Steelcase US 100 2015
Voya Financial US 100 2015
Hannover Ruck Germany 100 2015
Alstria Germany 100 2016
Infosys India 100 2020
Autodesk US 100 2020
Goldman Sachs US 100 2020
IKEA Netherlands 100 2020
Kingspan Ireland 100 2020
RELX UK 100 2020
Royal Philips Netherlands 100 2020
SGS Switzerland 100 2020
UBS Switzeland 100 2020
Vaisala Finland 100 2020
Yoox Italy 100 2020
JCDecaux France 100 2022
Nike US 100 2025
Elion Resources China 100 2030
Mars US 100 2040
Apple US 100 NA
Avant Garde Innovation India 100 NA
BT Group UK 100 NA
Commercial Limited UK 100 NA
DSM Formula E Netherlands 100 NA
Givaudan Switzerland 100 NA
Google US 100 NA
H&M Sweden 100 NA
Infigen Energy Australia 100 NA
Nestle Switzerland 100 NA
Procter and Gamble US 100 NA
Proximus Belgium 100 NA
Salesforce US 100 NA
Starbucks US 100 NA
Unilever Netherlands 100 NA
Walmart US 100 NA

As with countries, peer pressure (or in this case, consumer pressure) means that being the first to renege on these commitments will probably require some nerve. The public’s response will tell us a lot about what we, collectively, are willing to do to make change happen. It will also be instructive as to how we plan to live with the consequences of our actions or inactions. Public opinion can have a much bigger impact on company policy than it does on sovereign countries. We live in a capitalist society, so consumer pressure and investments (via the stock market or through mergers and acquisitions) make a big difference. In most companies such pressure can result in major management changes and can serve as a very strong deterrent to being the first to back out of a promise.

My next blog (which I’m writing now) will be posted two days after my return from Cuba. I’ll look into two additional actions that sovereign state members of the UNFCCC can take to supplement their COP21 commitments before the scheduled evaluations start.

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Mini-Post: 4 Links from the Week of January 4th

As you may know, I share links regularly on my social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook), but I have gathered a handful of stories over the week for you to enjoy here. Several of them directly relate to my recent and upcoming posts about how companies and consumers can affect sustainability.  Have a great weekend!

How Unilever, GE, Ikea Turn a Profit from Sustainability

Tackling Climate Change through Budget Transparency

An Investment Strategy to Save the Planet

America has been duped on climate change

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A Redefinition of Sustainability: The Unilever Case

The 1987 United Nations’ Brundtland Report (World Commission on Environment and Development) was the first platform to articulate the idea of “sustainable development” to a wide audience. The Report framed it as “…development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” It posited that the only truly sustainable form of progress is that which simultaneously addresses the interlinked aspects of economy, environment and social well-being.

In the subsequent two years, around 140 alternative and modified definitions of “sustainable development” emerged. It has been estimated that there are currently some three hundred definitions of “sustainability” and “sustainable development” within the domain of environmental management and associated disciplines (see Johnston P., Everard M., Santillo D. and Robèrt K.H.: Reclaiming the Definition of Sustainability. Env Sci Pollut Res 14 (1), 60 – 66 (2007)).

My own definition of sustainability (January 28, 2013) rests upon humanity’s development of a global state of affairs that will allow us to flourish until we can build the technology for extraterrestrial travel and migrate to another planet once conditions here deteriorate.

  • For how long? – Forever! To repeat President Obama’s language – “We must act, knowing that today’s victories will be only partial, and that it will be up to those who stand here in four years, and forty years, and four hundred years hence to advance the timeless spirit once conferred to us in a spare Philadelphia hall.”
  • How to do it? – To achieve the sustainable objectives on this time scale, we will have to establish equilibrium with the physical environment and at the same time maximize individual opportunities for every human on this planet.

I felt compelled to add to this definition due to two events:

The first trigger was an article in the New York Times by David Gelles: “Unilever Finds that Shrinking its Footprints is a Giant Task.” Gelles describes the efforts that Unilever’s CEO, Paul Polman, is making to convert it to a sustainable company.

Paul Polman would like that to change. As chief executive of Unilever, Mr. Polman has made sustainable production — of Hellmann’s, Lipton tea, Dove soap, Axe body spray and all the other products Unilever makes — the company’s top priority. Detergents are being reformulated to use less water. Packaging is becoming more efficient. And Unilever is taking preliminary steps to make soybean oil, a main ingredient in mayonnaise, more eco-friendly.

And even as Unilever rushes headlong into this brave new world, a big question remains: What is sustainability, anyway? Despite its righteous timbre, it’s a fuzzy term that means different things to different people. When applied to the ingredients and processes in the 1,000 different mass-market brands Unilever makes, the complications multiply endlessly. Scores of issues arise in just one jar of Hellmann’s mayonnaise, starting with the soybean oil. Dig into the specifics of that one ingredient, and it becomes clear that what Unilever calls sustainable sometimes doesn’t mean all that much.

The second thing that prompted me to look into a new definition for sustainability was the realization at the end of the COP21 meeting that mitigation of anthropogenic climate change is the key to shifting from a world that puts a premium on economic growth to one that places that same importance on long term global stability. Such a change requires major shifts from business-as-usual scenarios (which can run into impossible extremes in terms of population growth, economic growth, use of natural resources, waste disposal etc.), to steadier scenarios that require equilibrium between human efforts to improve our standard of living and the physical environment.

Our goal should be to Help Unilever’s CEO define sustainability to make his company green, and then extend the algorithm to every global organization and government.

Unilever is a British-Dutch multinational consumer goods company co-headquartered in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and London, United Kingdom. Its products include food, beverages, cleaning agents and personal care products. It is the world’s third-largest consumer goods company measured by 2012 revenue, after Procter & Gamble and Nestlé.[5] Unilever is the world’s largest producer of food spreads, such as margarine.[6] One of the oldest multinational companies, its products are available in around 190 countries.[7]

Unilever was founded in 1930 by the merger of the Dutch margarine producer “Margarine Unie” and the British soap maker “Lever Brothers.” Margarine Unie was formed in 1927 but its “ancestors” (products of other mergers) can be traced back to 1872. Lever Brothers was founded in 1885.

I don’t want to go into the details of its present management structure – only to suggest that it create a Division for Business Sustainability. The head of that division would report directly to Mr. Polman, with affiliates in every other unit of the company. The division’s mission would be to make sure that Unilever continues to be a relevant, profitable business for at least another 85 years while also factoring in environmental costs – in the long term you cannot have business sustainability without having environmental sustainability. Of course, this will not be a simple task. True, its founding companies have been producing margarine and soap for more than 100 years, but various products become more or less viable over time, depending on the balance between production costs and proceeds.

As the World Resources Institute reports, companies like the shoe manufacturer Puma have started to look into the relationship between environmental costs and revenue.

The company valued the environmental impact of its operations and supply chain in 2010 at about $190 million, factoring in impacts like water use, greenhouse gas emissions, land use conversion, air pollution, and waste. The company is now using this statement as a way to drive environmental initiatives, which it views as key to its long-term commercial survival. Puma’s environmental profit and loss statement is helping employees, shareholders, and suppliers understand the magnitude of the company’s environmental impacts, prioritize which ones to tackle first, and incorporate this information into decision-making.

At Unilever, the transition will likely take time, including planning how to phase out products that are no longer feasible due to either cost, consumer preferences or environmental concerns. Sooner or later, that last factor will trigger regulatory actions and prohibitive costs in the supply chain. The Business Sustainability division would be in charge of collaborating with other divisions to supply this information.

The division would have access to the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of every product that the company makes and where it is produced. It would then be in charge of following up on the sustainability of every component of the LCA, assessing global and local conditions over the specified time scale with regard to how they would directly affect its products. At the top of the list, within this macro category, are the impacts of global and local sustainability in terms of population, energy use, availability of required commodities, work force, education, political climate, health of supply chain, etc.

All of this sounds as though it would necessitate a large new level of bureaucracy but with the help of decent computer information gathering and cooperation with both academic institutions and other company divisions, it could probably be done in long term, cost effective ways. Hopefully, such progress could help economists stop discounting the future and start treating the future with the respect that our children and grandchildren deserve.

Aside from its CEO’s stated desire to make Unilever a sustainable and profitable company, none of this is particularly unique. COP21 has provided posting opportunities for other companies to go in the same direction.

To use some of the language from the COP21 final agreement (See December 8 blog), climate change is starting to offer opportunities for common but differentiated progress for others in leadership to move their areas of responsibility to a more sustainable future.

This example of a bottom-up course for progress towards a sustainable society can easily be translated into top-down opportunities and incorporated into governance systems at all levels.

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Assessment: Shenzhen’s Mudslide and a Prognosis for the Planet?

Shenzhen China MudslideFigure 1– Shenzhen Mudslide

New Year’s Eve is around the corner, which makes this a great time to reflect on the last three months and follow up on my Fall Assessment (September 22, 2015). As far as global focus on climate change is concerned, the uncontested central event was the COP21 meeting in Paris and its aftermath. The conference ended with a unanimous agreement between close to 195 states regarding some of the next steps that have a decent chance of success in confronting the perils of climate change.

This recent high concentration of events has emphasized for me that anthropogenic climate change is just one aspect of a much larger issue – in fact, our whole current geological period (the Anthropocene) is dominated and determined by humans (see my February 3, 2015 blog). I have routinely given a quick exercise to my general education class where I have asked them to calculate some business as usual scenarios such as growth in GDP, population growth, and growth of greenhouse gas emissions from first principles. In all of the cases, we quickly ran into absurdities when we looked a mere few hundred years into the future – beyond my definition of “Now” (the lifespan of my grandchildren) but far short of our sense of human history and human survival. The only alternative that I can see is to develop the conditions for survival without growth.

I am going to spend the first two weeks of January 2016 visiting Cuba with some demographer friends, who will hopefully help me to quantify how we as a species (and society) might go about living without growth. I will submit some of the results of this work to professional publications, but almost all of it will find its way into this blog.

In the meantime, as usual, things happen outside of the realm of my planned set of blogs. On Sunday, December 20, a giant mudslide, filled with construction debris, hit dozens of buildings in Shenzhen, China. The number of casualties has yet to be determined. Original estimates listed 100 people still unaccounted for. By the time that I am writing this blog the estimate has been reduced to 75. Some of those people showed up, some were rescued, and some were identified post-mortem. The press framed this disaster as another example of the unintended consequences of China’s fast growth. I see it somewhat differently.

Shenzhen’s mudslide can be viewed (at least in my distorted mind) as the sad exclamation point to COP21. It conveys the urgency of the need to mitigate potential collateral damage that directly results from our urge for fast development that is designed to improve our collective standard of living. I regard it as a model for the global anthropogenic disaster that is already playing out on a global scale but is mostly visible on a local scale. In this context, it is free of the uncertainties that accompany discussions of future impact of climate change. It is also free of the NIMBY idea that motivates so many to refuse mitigation activities under the belief that if the effect is global they can rely on the actions of others to take care of the problem. In addition, since it is a concrete example, based in the here and now, it needs immediate action. That avoids the usual economic discussions of how to balance the costs of future mitigations with current efforts in such a way as to prevent the assumption that future generations will be able to pick up all the slack.

Both the greenhouse gas emissions (particularly those related to energy generation) and the mountain of building debris in Shenzhen are directly connected with efforts of economic development. In both cases sustainable alternatives to present practices need to be implemented immediately; otherwise, as science clearly predicts, business as usual practices will result in disaster. The Abelian Sandpile Model is a physics model that helps describe the instability of the Shenzhen waste mountain. The sandpile model and climate change modeling both predict tipping points in the instability that comes from continuous piling. In both cases, there have been repeated warnings about the inevitability and collective impact of these tipping points. These notices have come at a time when effective mitigation is still possible. COP21 was a key step in that direction for climate change; hopefully, the Shenzhen disaster will change waste disposal practices in other cities.

Shenzhen, which borders on Hong Kong, is the focal point of China’s recent development. Shenzhen ChinaFigure 2 – Shenzhen and Hong Kong (Google maps)

Shenzhen was the first, and probably the most successful of China’s Special Economic Zones (SEZs). Its SEZ status was designated in 1979. Prior to that, it was a small, dormant, market town adjacent to the then City-State of Hong Kong (now a part of China) that was (and still is) one of the most economically vibrant places on Earth. Now Shenzhen’s metropolitan area is home to 18 million people, with a 2014 GDP growth of close to 9% – considerably faster than that of China (or Hong Kong). The economics of Shenzhen have become tightly integrated with those of Hong Kong and many of the citizens of Shenzhen commute daily to jobs in Hong Kong. As in other Chinese megacities, the construction industry is trying hard to catch up and provide living accommodations for the people that are responsible for this economic boom. Planning, environmental impact and safety considerations are taking a back seat.

I will come out with a bit more cheerful news immediately after New Year’s.

Assessment: Since the end of September, on Twitter, I’m up to 348 followers. I also had 14 mentions, 32 retweets and over 62K organic tweet impressions. This is all readily accessible information. On Facebook, in the same time period, my page got an additional 12.7K impressions from 9.6K users.

On my blog itself I’m happy to report that I’ve had had 450 visits from 278 unique computers. To those of you reading, I thank you and (as always) welcome your comments.

Stay tuned. Happy New Year!

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COP21- Anticipations

The COP21 meeting is over, as is my student’s final exam, 60% of which depended on an evaluation of the conference. What’s next for my students and the world at large? My class material for next semester will answer the former. I am the decider :(. It will be much more difficult to predict the global follow-up.

My class will cover both basic science and anthropogenic climate change. Students will gain the skills to evaluate issues in a quantitative way and will try to figure out how they can contribute to mitigation efforts. We will focus on global attempts to follow up on the resolutions of COP21. I will mirror that investigation here.

This agreement has the full potential to eclipse the expired Kyoto Protocol. Unlike the Kyoto Protocol, for the first time, almost every country in the world is part of the agreement. Most of the developed countries have committed to reduction of emissions, while most of the fast-growing developing countries have committed to early peaks in emissions. That said, greenhouse gas emissions have been treated as tightly coupled with development.

The IPAT identity, which governs almost all research scenarios for climate change (see the November 26, 2012 blog), states that carbon dioxide emissions are proportional to five factors. The first two are the most important socioeconomic parameters: population growth and growth of GDP/person. The last three factors are energy terms, including efficiency of energy use (Energy/GDP), the percentage of fossil fuels used to produce the energy (Fossil/GDP), and the kind of fossil fuel that is being used (coal, oil, or natural gas). The thinking has always been that the enormous difference in the wealth per person between developed and developing countries spurs developing countries to do everything in their power to grow. The global GDP per person will continue to increase. Indeed, that growth in GDP is the leading contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions. The population also continues to grow globally, although at a considerably reduced rate compared to the GDP. The essence of the global energy transition is to facilitate economic growth through a shift of energy sources away from fossil fuels. 2014 was the first recorded year in which there was a (small) decline in emissions of greenhouse gases while the global economy kept growing. The COP21 mission fits perfectly with the goal of achieving emissions declines simultaneously with growing economies.

COP21 also achieved a key agreement to help developing countries finance both mitigation – via the shift of their energy sources away from fossil fuels – and adaptation to the consequences of climate change that are already taking place.

The COP21 agreement includes three key articles that specifically address these issues:

COP21 Article 2

  1. This Agreement, in enhancing the implementation of the Convention, including its objective, aims to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change, in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty, including by:

(a) Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change;

(b) Increasing the ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change and foster climate resilience and low greenhouse gas emissions development, in a manner that does not threaten food production;

(c) Making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development.

  1. This Agreement will be implemented to reflect equity and the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances.

Article 4

  1. In order to achieve the long-term temperature goal set out in Article 2, Parties aim to reach global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible, recognizing that peaking will take longer for developing country Parties, and to undertake rapid reductions thereafter in accordance with best available science, so as to achieve a balance between anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases in the second half of this century, on the basis of equity, and in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty.
  2. Each Party shall prepare, communicate and maintain successive nationally determined contributions that it intends to achieve. Parties shall pursue domestic mitigation measures with the aim of achieving the objectives of such contributions.
  3. Each Party’s successive nationally determined contribution will represent a progression beyond the Party’s then current nationally determined contribution and reflect its highest possible ambition, reflecting its common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances.

Article 14

  1. The Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement shall periodically take stock of the implementation of this Agreement to assess the collective progress towards achieving the purpose of this Agreement and its long-term goals (referred to as the “global stocktake”). It shall do so in a comprehensive and facilitative manner, considering mitigation, adaptation and the means of implementation and support, and in the light of equity and the best available science.
  2. The Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement shall undertake its first global stocktake in 2023 and every five years thereafter unless otherwise decided by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement.

Article 2 states the objective – get the temperature to stabilize below 2oC above pre-Industrial Revolution levels (the period we mark as the start of anthropogenic contribution to climate change via greenhouse gas emissions). Any evaluation of the commitments from the UNFCCC will lead to a much higher temperature increase (around 3oC) toward the end of the century. Article 14 rectifies that apparent contradiction. The UNFCCC will periodically take stock of the implementation of this agreement to assess the collective progress. The parties have agreed that depending on the results of the analysis, they will recommit periodically – with each recommitment more demanding than its predecessor. This is as sure a way to progress as one can dream. The first assessment will take place in 2023 and repeated assessments and recommitments will occur in intervals of five years.

How can we monitor our progress until 2023 and what will I do with my class?

For the moment, I don’t plan to look much into our government’s actions, per se, nor at the global political events that will directly follow this accord. Next year we will have presidential elections here in the US. The Republican Party has already declared vociferously that should it win the presidency, it will ignore any and all commitments that President Obama made with regards to the climate and emissions. It is certain that if the US ignores its commitments, most of the other major polluters will follow suit; we will all openly march into the impending disaster with open eyes. To use Pope Francis’ description (which matched mine from three years earlier) – we will commit a global suicide. To accommodate the US, the final resolution was structured not to be an independent international treaty (so as to avoid the necessary senate approval). Nevertheless, it was designed to be compulsory – not voluntary. This trick was accomplished by presenting key elements of the resolution as an extension of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit – the Rio Declaration. More specifically, it comes as part of the UN Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Most lawyers believe that the drafting was such that that it can withstand any scrutiny by the US Supreme Court. It will not, however, withstand a Republican president chosen from the present group of candidates. Regardless, the original Rio Convention doesn’t have serious enforcing powers to penalize countries that do not abide by their commitments. Such is the structure of our global governance that the only serious global enforcing power belongs to the Security Council of the UN, where the US (together with China, Russia, France and England) has veto power. People argue – with some justification – that global public opinion will serve as a strong restorative force to prevent any country from declining to abide by its commitments. In this case, I think that the oft-mentioned NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) argument will turn out to be the deciding force behind whether or not countries stand behind their commitments in the COP21 agreement or renege, and thus negate the content of the resolution.

This sort of top-down methodology is tricky to focus on. I found the bottom-up approach to be a much more promising and educational terrain, although I will certainly continue to look into the former, as well as its political ramifications.

The bottom-up approach will follow issues such as:

  • What is missing from the agreement
  • Business commitments
  • Subsidies for fossil fuels
  • Movement of money
  • R&D and Bill Gates
  • Adaptation – human intervention through the water cycle to compensate for human intervention through the energy cycle.

Stay tuned.

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COP21 – We Have an Agreement!!!!

This is going to be a long blog and to top it off, I’m posting it a day early. I often write these posts mid-week; this time, I waited to start writing it until the final resolution came out in the late morning on Saturday, NY time. As the title states, the resolution was approved unanimously by all 195 members! The final approval process was mercifully short, due to a surprisingly quick parliamentary maneuver by Laurent Fabius, the French Foreign Minister who acted as chair of the conference. During the plenary session, he asked for any objections. Since none were raised, he declared an official approval. Many had expected that the approval process would consist of a tedious vote by voice, giving each delegate an opportunity to say something. Mr. Fabius didn’t want to run that risk; the world should be grateful.

The last session of my Climate Change class was today (Monday) and fully focused on the COP21 resolution. The class final is on Wednesday, and as my students already know, 60% of the exam will be anchored on the conference.

The English version of the resolution encompasses 31 pages. Anybody interested in reading the full resolution can do so by accessing the UNFCCC site. The first part of the resolution gives some administrative background, while the annex includes the main content of the agreement.

This blog also contains brief quotes from the introductions by the French Foreign Minister and the French President. They deserve full credit for successfully bringing this conference to a positive conclusion. I don’t want to be too political on this, but I hope that their skill in bringing the conference to its successful conclusion will also be rewarded in the ballot box.

The resolution comes in two parts – for very important reasons, which I will enumerate in future blogs. Here, I am citing both the beginning of the preamble (the whole version is 19 pages long), and the entirety of the annex, which includes the full agreement.

For now, I will focus on the agreement itself and the short introductory remarks from the concluding plenary session on Saturday. For the benefit of my students, who are now preparing for their exam, I have marked in red those sections that I regard as especially important. In future blogs I will try to expand on these selections as well as express my own take on the agreement. I will do the same with my students in class.

The French News Agency AFP highlighted Laurent Fabius and French President Francois Hollande’s introductions to the concluding plenary session of the meeting:

Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, on the brink of tears after presiding over nearly a fortnight of talks in Paris, delivered the proposal to ministers who must now decide whether to approve it, possibly within hours.

“It is my conviction that we have come up with an ambitious… agreement,” Fabius said, telling the ministers they would achieve a “historic turning point” for the world if they endorsed it.

The hoped-for deal seeks to end decades-long rows between rich and poor nations over how to fund the multi-trillion-dollar campaign.

… Fabius said that, if approved, the deal would set a “floor” in funding, in which at least $100 billion (92 billion euros) a year from 2020 would be channeled to help the developing world fight global warming.

It would also aim at limiting warming of the planet since the Industrial Revolution to “well below” 2.0 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) and strive for an even more ambitious goal of 1.5C, he said.

French President Francois Hollande and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon sat on stage alongside Fabius as he made a lengthy speech imploring ministers to approve the blueprint on Saturday.

Raising hopes of a successful conclusion, negotiators stood up and cheered before Fabius spoke, and rose in another standing ovation at the end.

“You have a chance to change the world,” Hollande told delegates.

“You have to take the final step, the decisive step which allows us to reach the goal.”

…Raising hopes of a successful conclusion, negotiators stood up and cheered before Fabius spoke, and rose in another standing ovation at the end.

…The proposed agreement came after negotiators missed an initial deadline of Friday to sign an accord, as feuding ministers refused to budge on entrenched positions.

…As Fabius put forward the proposed deal, green demonstrators lobbied anew, using the geolocalisation feature on their mobile phones to spell out the words “Climate,” “Justice” and “Peace” on an interactive map of the city…

The preamble spans 19 pages. Here is the first part:

ADOPTION OF THE PARIS AGREEMENT

Proposal by the President

Draft decision -/CP.21

I. ADOPTION

  1. Decides to adopt the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (hereinafter referred to as “the Agreement”) as contained in the annex;
  2. Requests the Secretary-General of the United Nations to be the Depositary of the Agreement and to have it open for signature in New York, United States of America, from 22 April 2016 to 21 April 2017;
  3. Invites the Secretary-General to convene a high-level signature ceremony for the Agreement on 22 April 2016;
  4. Also invites all Parties to the Convention to sign the Agreement at the ceremony to be convened by the Secretary-General, or at their earliest opportunity, and to deposit their respective instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, where appropriate, as soon as possible;
  5. Recognizes that Parties to the Convention may provisionally apply all of the provisions of the Agreement pending its entry into force, and requests Parties to provide notification of any such provisional application to the Depositary;
  6. Notes that the work of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action, in accordance with decision 1/CP.17, paragraph 4, has been completed;
  7. Decides to establish the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement under the same arrangement, mutatis mutandis, as those concerning the election of officers to the Bureau of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action;
  1. Also decides that the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement shall prepare for the entry into force of the Agreement and for the convening of the first session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement;
  1. Further decides to oversee the implementation of the work programme resulting from the relevant requests contained in this decision;
  1. Requests the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement to report regularly to the Conference of the Parties on the progress of its work and to complete its work by the first session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement;
  2. Decides that the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement shall hold its sessions starting in 2016 in conjunction with the sessions of the Convention subsidiary bodies and shall prepare draft decisions to be recommended through the Conference of the Parties to the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement for consideration and adoption at its first session;

Annex

PARIS AGREEMENT

The Parties to this Agreement,

Being Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, hereinafter referred to as “the Convention”,

Pursuant to the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action established by decision 1/CP.17 of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention at its seventeenth session,

In pursuit of the objective of the Convention, and being guided by its principles, including the principle of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances,

Recognizing the need for an effective and progressive response to the urgent threat of climate change on the basis of the best available scientific knowledge,

Also recognizing the specific needs and special circumstances of developing country Parties, especially those that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change, as provided for in the Convention,

Taking full account of the specific needs and special situations of the least developed countries with regard to funding and transfer of technology,

Recognizing that Parties may be affected not only by climate change, but also by the impacts of the measures taken in response to it,

Emphasizing the intrinsic relationship that climate change actions, responses and impacts have with equitable access to sustainable development and eradication of poverty,

Recognizing the fundamental priority of safeguarding food security and ending hunger, and the particular vulnerabilities of food production systems to the adverse impacts of climate change,

Taking into account the imperatives of a just transition of the workforce and the creation of decent work and quality jobs in accordance with nationally defined development priorities,

Acknowledging that climate change is a common concern of humankind,

Parties should, when taking action to address climate change, respect, promote and consider their respective obligations on human rights, the right to health, the rights of indigenous peoples, local communities, migrants, children, persons with disabilities and people in vulnerable situations and the right to development, as well as gender equality, empowerment of women and intergenerational equity,

Recognizing the importance of the conservation and enhancement, as appropriate, of sinks and reservoirs of the greenhouse gases referred to in the Convention,

Noting the importance of ensuring the integrity of all ecosystems, including oceans, and the protection of biodiversity, recognized by some cultures as Mother Earth, and noting the importance for some of the concept of “climate justice”, when taking action to address climate change,

Affirming the importance of education, training, public awareness, public participation, public access to information and cooperation at all levels on the matters addressed in this Agreement,

Recognizing the importance of the engagements of all levels of government and various actors, in accordance with respective national legislations of Parties, in addressing climate change,

Also recognizing that sustainable lifestyles and sustainable patterns of consumption and production, with developed country Parties taking the lead, play an important role in addressing climate change,

Have agreed as follows:

Article 1

For the purpose of this Agreement, the definitions contained in Article 1 of the Convention shall apply. In addition:

  1. “Convention” means the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, adopted in New York on 9 May 1992.
  2. “Conference of the Parties” means the Conference of the Parties to the Convention.
  3. “Party” means a Party to this Agreement.

Article 2

  1. This Agreement, in enhancing the implementation of the Convention, including its objective, aims to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change, in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty, including by:

(a) Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change;

(b) Increasing the ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change and foster climate resilience and low greenhouse gas emissions development, in a manner that does not threaten food production;

(c) Making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate resilient development.

  1. This Agreement will be implemented to reflect equity and the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances.

Article 3

As nationally determined contributions to the global response to climate change, all Parties are to undertake and communicate ambitious efforts as defined in Articles 4, 7, 9, 10, 11 and 13 with the view to achieving the purpose of this Agreement as set out in Article 2. The efforts of all Parties will represent a progression over time, while recognizing the need to support developing country Parties for the effective implementation of this Agreement.

Article 4

  1. In order to achieve the long-term temperature goal set out in Article 2, Parties aim to reach global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible, recognizing that peaking will take longer for developing country Parties, and to undertake rapid reductions thereafter in accordance with best available science, so as to achieve a balance between anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases in the second half of this century, on the basis of equity, and in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty.
  2. Each Party shall prepare, communicate and maintain successive nationally determined contributions that it intends to achieve. Parties shall pursue domestic mitigation measures with the aim of achieving the objectives of such contributions.
  3. Each Party’s successive nationally determined contribution will represent a progression beyond the Party’s then current nationally determined contribution and reflect its highest possible ambition, reflecting its common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances.
  4. Developed country Parties shall continue taking the lead by undertaking economy-wide absolute emission reduction targets. Developing country Parties should continue enhancing their mitigation efforts, and are encouraged to move over time towards economy-wide emission reduction or limitation targets in the light of different national circumstances.
  5. Support shall be provided to developing country Parties for the implementation of this Article, in accordance with Articles 9, 10 and 11, recognizing that enhanced support for developing country Parties will allow for higher ambition in their actions.
  6. The least developed countries and small island developing States may prepare and communicate strategies, plans and actions for low greenhouse gas emissions development reflecting their special circumstances.
  7. Mitigation co-benefits resulting from Parties’ adaptation actions and/or economic diversification plans can contribute to mitigation outcomes under this Article.
  8. In communicating their nationally determined contributions, all Parties shall provide the information necessary for clarity, transparency and understanding in accordance with decision 1/CP.21 and any relevant decisions of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement.
  9. Each Party shall communicate a nationally determined contribution every five years in accordance with decision 1/CP.21 and any relevant decisions of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement and be informed by the outcomes of the global stock-take referred to in Article 14.
  10. The Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement shall consider common time frames for nationally determined contributions at its first session.
  11. A Party may at any time adjust its existing nationally determined contribution with a view to enhancing its level of ambition, in accordance with guidance adopted by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement.
  12. Nationally determined contributions communicated by Parties shall be recorded in a public registry maintained by the secretariat.
  13. Parties shall account for their nationally determined contributions. In accounting for anthropogenic emissions and removals corresponding to their nationally determined contributions, Parties shall promote environmental integrity, transparency, accuracy, completeness, comparability and consistency, and ensure the avoidance of double counting, in accordance with guidance adopted by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement.
  14. In the context of their nationally determined contributions, when recognizing and implementing mitigation actions with respect to anthropogenic emissions and removals, Parties should take into account, as appropriate, existing methods and guidance under the Convention, in the light of the provisions of paragraph 13 of this Article.
  15. Parties shall take into consideration in the implementation of this Agreement the concerns of Parties with economies most affected by the impacts of response measures, particularly developing country Parties.
  16. Parties, including regional economic integration organizations and their member States, that have reached an agreement to act jointly under paragraph 2 of this Article shall notify the secretariat of the terms of that agreement, including the emission level allocated to each Party within the relevant time period, when they communicate their nationally determined contributions. The secretariat shall in turn inform the Parties and signatories to the Convention of the terms of that agreement.
  17. Each party to such an agreement shall be responsible for its emission level as set out in the agreement referred to in paragraph 16 above in accordance with paragraphs 13 and 14 of this Article and Articles 13 and 15.
  18. If Parties acting jointly do so in the framework of, and together with, a regional economic integration organization which is itself a Party to this Agreement, each member State of that regional economic integration organization individually, and together with the regional economic integration organization, shall be responsible for its emission level as set out in the agreement communicated under paragraph 16 of this Article in accordance with paragraphs 13 and 14 of this Article and Articles 13 and 15.
  19. All Parties should strive to formulate and communicate long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies, mindful of Article 2 taking into account their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances.

Article 5

  1. Parties should take action to conserve and enhance, as appropriate, sinks and reservoirs of greenhouse gases as referred to in Article 4, paragraph 1(d), of the Convention, including forests.
  2. Parties are encouraged to take action to implement and support, including through results-based payments, the existing framework as set out in related guidance and decisions already agreed under the Convention for: policy approaches and positive incentives for activities relating to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries; and alternative policy approaches, such as joint mitigation and adaptation approaches for the integral and sustainable management of forests, while reaffirming the importance of incentivizing, as appropriate, non-carbon benefits associated with such approaches.

Article 6

  1. Parties recognize that some Parties choose to pursue voluntary cooperation in the implementation of their nationally determined contributions to allow for higher ambition in their mitigation and adaptation actions and to promote sustainable development and environmental integrity.
  2. Parties shall, where engaging on a voluntary basis in cooperative approaches that involve the use of internationally transferred mitigation outcomes towards nationally determined contributions, promote sustainable development and ensure environmental integrity and transparency, including in governance, and shall apply robust accounting to ensure, inter alia, the avoidance of double counting, consistent with guidance adopted by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement.
  3. The use of internationally transferred mitigation outcomes to achieve nationally determined contributions under this Agreement shall be voluntary and authorized by participating Parties.
  4. A mechanism to contribute to the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions and support sustainable development is hereby established under the authority and guidance of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement for use by Parties on a voluntary basis. It shall be supervised by a body designated by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement, and shall aim:

(a) To promote the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions while fostering sustainable development;

(b) To incentivize and facilitate participation in the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions by public and private entities authorized by a Party;

(c) To contribute to the reduction of emission levels in the host Party, which will benefit from mitigation activities resulting in emission reductions that can also be used by another Party to fulfil its nationally determined contribution; and

(d) To deliver an overall mitigation in global emissions.

  1. Emission reductions resulting from the mechanism referred to in paragraph 4 of this Article shall not be used to demonstrate achievement of the host Party’s nationally determined contribution if used by another Party to demonstrate achievement of its nationally determined contribution.
  2. The Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement shall ensure that a share of the proceeds from activities under the mechanism referred to in paragraph 4 of this Article is used to cover administrative expenses as well as to assist developing country Parties that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change to meet the costs of adaptation.
  3. The Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement shall adopt rules, modalities and procedures for the mechanism referred to in paragraph 4 of this Article at its first session.
  4. Parties recognize the importance of integrated, holistic and balanced non-market approaches being available to Parties to assist in the implementation of their nationally determined contributions, in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, in a coordinated and effective manner, including through, inter alia, mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology transfer and capacity-building, as appropriate. These approaches shall aim to:

(a) Promote mitigation and adaptation ambition;

(b) Enhance public and private participation in the implementation of nationally determined contributions; and

(c) Enable opportunities for coordination across instruments and relevant institutional arrangements.

  1. A framework for non-market approaches to sustainable development is hereby defined to promote the nonmarket approaches referred to in paragraph 8 of this Article.

Article 7

  1. Parties hereby establish the global goal on adaptation of enhancing adaptive capacity, strengthening resilience and reducing vulnerability to climate change, with a view to contributing to sustainable development and ensuring an adequate adaptation response in the context of the temperature goal referred to in Article 2. 2. Parties recognize that adaptation is a global challenge faced by all with local, subnational, national, regional and international dimensions, and that it is a key component of and makes a contribution to the long-term global response to climate change to protect people, livelihoods and ecosystems, taking into account the urgent and immediate needs of those developing country Parties that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.
  2. The adaptation efforts of developing country Parties shall be recognized, in accordance with the modalities to be adopted by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement at its first session.
  3. Parties recognize that the current need for adaptation is significant and that greater levels of mitigation can reduce the need for additional adaptation efforts, and that greater adaptation needs can involve greater adaptation costs.
  4. Parties acknowledge that adaptation action should follow a country-driven, gender-responsive, participatory and fully transparent approach, taking into consideration vulnerable groups, communities and ecosystems, and should be based on and guided by the best available science and, as appropriate, traditional knowledge, knowledge of indigenous peoples and local knowledge systems, with a view to integrating adaptation into relevant socioeconomic and environmental policies and actions, where appropriate.
  5. Parties recognize the importance of support for and international cooperation on adaptation efforts and the importance of taking into account the needs of developing country Parties, especially those that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.
  6. Parties should strengthen their cooperation on enhancing action on adaptation, taking into account the Cancun Adaptation Framework, including with regard to:

 (a) Sharing information, good practices, experiences and lessons learned, including, as appropriate, as these relate to science, planning, policies and implementation in relation to adaptation actions;

(b) Strengthening institutional arrangements, including those under the Convention that serve this Agreement, to support the synthesis of relevant information and knowledge, and the provision of technical support and guidance to Parties;

(c) Strengthening scientific knowledge on climate, including research, systematic observation of the climate system and early warning systems, in a manner that informs climate services and supports decision making;

(d) Assisting developing country Parties in identifying effective adaptation practices, adaptation needs, priorities, support provided and received for adaptation actions and efforts, and challenges and gaps, in a manner consistent with encouraging good practices;

(e) Improving the effectiveness and durability of adaptation actions.

  1. United Nations specialized organizations and agencies are encouraged to support the efforts of Parties to implement the actions referred to in paragraph 7 of this Article, taking into account the provisions of paragraph 5 of this Article.
  2. Each Party shall, as appropriate, engage in adaptation planning processes and the implementation of actions, including the development or enhancement of relevant plans, policies and/or contributions, which may include:

(a) The implementation of adaptation actions, undertakings and/or efforts;

(b) The process to formulate and implement national adaptation plans;

(c) The assessment of climate change impacts and vulnerability, with a view to formulating nationally determined prioritized actions, taking into account vulnerable people, places and ecosystems;

(d) Monitoring and evaluating and learning from adaptation plans, policies, programmes and actions; and

(e) Building the resilience of socioeconomic and ecological systems, including through economic diversification and sustainable management of natural resources.

  1. Each Party should, as appropriate, submit and update periodically an adaptation communication, which may include its priorities, implementation and support needs, plans and actions, without creating any additional burden for developing country Parties.
  2. The adaptation communication referred to in paragraph 10 of this Article shall be, as appropriate, submitted and updated periodically, as a component of or in conjunction with other communications or documents, including a national adaptation plan, a nationally determined contribution as referred to in Article 4, paragraph 2, and/or a national communication.
  3. The adaptation communications referred to in paragraph 10 of this Article shall be recorded in a public registry maintained by the secretariat.
  4. Continuous and enhanced international support shall be provided to developing country Parties for the implementation of paragraphs 7, 9, 10 and 11 of this Article, in accordance with the provisions of Articles 9, 10 and 11.
  5. The global stock-take referred to in Article 14 shall, inter alia:

(a) Recognize adaptation efforts of developing country Parties;

(b) Enhance the implementation of adaptation action taking into account the adaptation communication referred to in paragraph 10 of this Article;

(c) Review the adequacy and effectiveness of adaptation and support provided for adaptation; and

(d) Review the overall progress made in achieving the global goal on adaptation referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article.

Article 8

  1. Parties recognize the importance of averting, minimizing and addressing loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change, including extreme weather events and slow onset events, and the role of sustainable development in reducing the risk of loss and damage.
  2. The Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts shall be subject to the authority and guidance of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement and may be enhanced and strengthened, as determined by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement.
  3. Parties should enhance understanding, action and support, including through the Warsaw International Mechanism, as appropriate, on a cooperative and facilitative basis with respect to loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change.
  4. Accordingly, areas of cooperation and facilitation to enhance understanding, action and support may include:

(a) Early warning systems;

(b) Emergency preparedness;

(c) Slow onset events;

(d) Events that may involve irreversible and permanent loss and damage;

(e) Comprehensive risk assessment and management;

(f) Risk insurance facilities, climate risk pooling and other insurance solutions; (g) Non-economic losses;

(h) Resilience of communities, livelihoods and ecosystems.

  1. The Warsaw International Mechanism shall collaborate with existing bodies and expert groups under the Agreement, as well as relevant organizations and expert bodies outside the Agreement.

Article 9

  1. Developed country Parties shall provide financial resources to assist developing country Parties with respect to both mitigation and adaptation in continuation of their existing obligations under the Convention.
  2. Other Parties are encouraged to provide or continue to provide such support voluntarily.
  3. As part of a global effort, developed country Parties should continue to take the lead in mobilizing climate finance from a wide variety of sources, instruments and channels, noting the significant role of public funds, through a variety of actions, including supporting country-driven strategies, and taking into account the needs and priorities of developing country Parties. Such mobilization of climate finance should represent a progression beyond previous efforts.
  4. The provision of scaled-up financial resources should aim to achieve a balance between adaptation and mitigation, taking into account country-driven strategies, and the priorities and needs of developing country Parties, especially those that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change and have significant capacity constraints, such as the least developed countries and small island developing States, considering the need for public and grant-based resources for adaptation.
  5. Developed country Parties shall biennially communicate indicative quantitative and qualitative information related to paragraphs 1 and 3 of this Article, as applicable, including, as available, projected levels of public financial resources to be provided to developing country Parties. Other Parties providing resources are encouraged to communicate biennially such information on a voluntary basis.
  6. The global-stock take referred to in Article 14 shall take into account the relevant information provided by developed country Parties and/or Agreement bodies on efforts related to climate finance.
  7. Developed country Parties shall provide transparent and consistent information on support for developing country Parties provided and mobilized through public interventions biennially in accordance with the modalities, procedures and guidelines to be adopted by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement, at its first session, as stipulated in Article 13, paragraph 13. Other Parties are encouraged to do so.
  8. The Financial Mechanism of the Convention, including its operating entities, shall serve as the financial mechanism of this Agreement.
  9. The institutions serving this Agreement, including the operating entities of the Financial Mechanism of the Convention, shall aim to ensure efficient access to financial resources through simplified approval procedures and enhanced readiness support for developing country Parties, in particular for the least developed countries and Small Island developing States, in the context of their national climate strategies and plans.

Article 10

  1. Parties share a long-term vision on the importance of fully realizing technology development and transfer in order to improve resilience to climate change and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  2. Parties, noting the importance of technology for the implementation of mitigation and adaptation actions under this Agreement and recognizing existing technology deployment and dissemination efforts, shall strengthen cooperative action on technology development and transfer.
  3. The Technology Mechanism established under the Convention shall serve this Agreement.
  4. A technology framework is hereby established to provide overarching guidance for the work of the Technology Mechanism in promoting and facilitating enhanced action on technology development and transfer in order to support the implementation of this Agreement, in pursuit of the long-term vision referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article.
  5. Accelerating, encouraging and enabling innovation is critical for an effective, long-term global response to climate change and promoting economic growth and sustainable development. Such effort shall be, as appropriate, supported, including by the Technology Mechanism and, through financial means, by the Financial Mechanism of the Convention, for collaborative approaches to research and development, and facilitating access to technology, in particular for early stages of the technology cycle, to developing country Parties.
  6. Support, including financial support, shall be provided to developing country Parties for the implementation of this Article, including for strengthening cooperative action on technology development and transfer at different stages of the technology cycle, with a view to achieving a balance between support for mitigation and adaptation. The global-stock take referred to in Article 14 shall take into account available information on efforts related to support on technology development and transfer for developing country Parties.

Article 11

  1. Capacity-building under this Agreement should enhance the capacity and ability of developing country Parties, in particular countries with the least capacity, such as the least developed countries, and those that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change, such as small island developing States, to take effective climate change action, including, inter alia, to implement adaptation and mitigation actions, and should facilitate technology development, dissemination and deployment, access to climate finance, relevant aspects of education, training and public awareness, and the transparent, timely and accurate communication of information.
  2. Capacity-building should be country-driven, based on and responsive to national needs, and foster country ownership of Parties, in particular, for developing country Parties, including at the national, subnational and local levels. Capacity-building should be guided by lessons learned, including those from capacity-building activities under the Convention, and should be an effective, iterative process that is participatory, cross-cutting and gender-responsive.
  3. All Parties should cooperate to enhance the capacity of developing country Parties to implement this Agreement. Developed country Parties should enhance support for capacity-building actions in developing country Parties.
  4. All Parties enhancing the capacity of developing country Parties to implement this Agreement, including through regional, bilateral and multilateral approaches, shall regularly communicate on these actions or measures on capacity-building. Developing country Parties should regularly communicate progress made on implementing capacity-building plans, policies, actions or measures to implement this Agreement.
  5. Capacity-building activities shall be enhanced through appropriate institutional arrangements to support the implementation of this Agreement, including the appropriate institutional arrangements established under the Convention that serve this Agreement. The Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement shall, at its first session, consider and adopt a decision on the initial institutional arrangements for capacity-building.

Article 12

Parties shall cooperate in taking measures, as appropriate, to enhance climate change education, training, public awareness, public participation and public access to information, recognizing the importance of these steps with respect to enhancing actions under this Agreement.

Article 13

  1. In order to build mutual trust and confidence and to promote effective implementation, an enhanced transparency framework for action and support, with built-in flexibility which takes into account Parties’ different capacities and builds upon collective experience is hereby established.
  2. The transparency framework shall provide flexibility in the implementation of the provisions of this Article to those developing country Parties that need it in the light of their capacities. The modalities, procedures and guidelines referred to in paragraph 13 of this Article shall reflect such flexibility.
  3. The transparency framework shall build on and enhance the transparency arrangements under the Convention, recognizing the special circumstances of the least developed countries and small island developing States, and be implemented in a facilitative, non-intrusive, non-punitive manner, respectful of national sovereignty, and avoid placing undue burden on Parties.
  4. The transparency arrangements under the Convention, including national communications, biennial reports and biennial update reports, international assessment and review and international consultation and analysis, shall form part of the experience drawn upon for the development of the modalities, procedures and guidelines under paragraph 13 of this Article.
  5. The purpose of the framework for transparency of action is to provide a clear understanding of climate change action in the light of the objective of the Convention as set out in its Article 2, including clarity and tracking of progress towards achieving Parties’ individual nationally determined contributions under Article 4, and Parties’ adaptation actions under Article 7, including good practices, priorities, needs and gaps, to inform the global stocktake under Article 14.
  6. The purpose of the framework for transparency of support is to provide clarity on support provided and received by relevant individual Parties in the context of climate change actions under Articles 4, 7, 9, 10 and 11, and, to the extent possible, to provide a full overview of aggregate financial support provided, to inform the global stock-take under Article 14.
  7. Each Party shall regularly provide the following information:

(a) A national inventory report of anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases, prepared using good practice methodologies accepted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and agreed upon by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement;

(b) Information necessary to track progress made in implementing and achieving its nationally determined contribution under Article 4.

  1. Each Party should also provide information related to climate change impacts and adaptation under Article 7, as appropriate.
  2. Developed country Parties shall, and other Parties that provide support should, provide information on financial, technology transfer and capacity-building support provided to developing country Parties under Article 9, 10 and 11.
  3. Developing country Parties should provide information on financial, technology transfer and capacity-building support needed and received under Articles 9, 10 and 11.
  4. Information submitted by each Party under paragraphs 7 and 9 of this Article shall undergo a technical expert review, in accordance with decision 1/CP.21. For those developing country Parties that need it in the light of their capacities, the review process shall include assistance in identifying capacity-building needs. In addition, each Party shall participate in a facilitative, multilateral consideration of progress with respect to efforts under Article 9, and its respective implementation and achievement of its nationally determined contribution.
  5. The technical expert review under this paragraph shall consist of a consideration of the Party’s support provided, as relevant, and its implementation and achievement of its nationally determined contribution. The review shall also identify areas of improvement for the Party, and include a review of the consistency of the information with the modalities, procedures and guidelines referred to in paragraph 13 of this Article, taking into account the flexibility accorded to the Party under paragraph 2 of this Article. The review shall pay particular attention to the respective national capabilities and circumstances of developing country Parties.
  6. The Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement shall, at its first session, building on experience from the arrangements related to transparency under the Convention, and elaborating on the provisions in this Article, adopt common modalities, procedures and guidelines, as appropriate, for the transparency of action and support.
  7. Support shall be provided to developing countries for the implementation of this Article.
  8. Support shall also be provided for the building of transparency-related capacity of developing country Parties on a continuous basis.

Article 14

  1. The Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement shall periodically take stock of the implementation of this Agreement to assess the collective progress towards achieving the purpose of this Agreement and its long-term goals (referred to as the “global stock take”). It shall do so in a comprehensive and facilitative manner, considering mitigation, adaptation and the means of implementation and support, and in the light of equity and the best available science.
  2. The Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement shall undertake its first global stock take in 2023 and every five years thereafter unless otherwise decided by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement.
  3. The outcome of the global stock take shall inform Parties in updating and enhancing, in a nationally determined manner, their actions and support in accordance with the relevant provisions of this Agreement, as well as in enhancing international cooperation for climate action.

Article 15

  1. A mechanism to facilitate implementation of and promote compliance with the provisions of this Agreement is hereby established.
  2. The mechanism referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article shall consist of a committee that shall be expert-based and facilitative in nature and function in a manner that is transparent, non-adversarial and non-punitive. The committee shall pay particular attention to the respective national capabilities and circumstances of Parties.
  3. The committee shall operate under the modalities and procedures adopted by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement at its first session and report annually to the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement.

Article 16

  1. The Conference of the Parties, the supreme body of the Convention, shall serve as the meeting of the Parties to this Agreement.
  2. Parties to the Convention that are not Parties to this Agreement may participate as observers in the proceedings of any session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to this Agreement. When the Conference of the Parties serves as the meeting of the Parties to this Agreement, decisions under this Agreement shall be taken only by those that are Parties to this Agreement.
  3. When the Conference of the Parties serves as the meeting of the Parties to this Agreement, any member of the Bureau of the Conference of the Parties representing a Party to the Convention but, at that time, not a Party to this Agreement, shall be replaced by an additional member to be elected by and from amongst the Parties to this Agreement.
  4. The Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement shall keep under regular review the implementation of this Agreement and shall make, within its mandate, the decisions necessary to promote its effective implementation. It shall perform the functions assigned to it by this Agreement and shall:

(a) Establish such subsidiary bodies as deemed necessary for the implementation of this Agreement; and

(b) Exercise such other functions as may be required for the implementation of this Agreement.

  1. The rules of procedure of the Conference of the Parties and the financial procedures applied under the Convention shall be applied mutatis mutandis under this Agreement, except as may be otherwise decided by consensus by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement.
  2. The first session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement shall be convened by the secretariat in conjunction with the first session of the Conference of the Parties that is scheduled after the date of entry into force of this Agreement. Subsequent ordinary sessions of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement shall be held in conjunction with ordinary sessions of the Conference of the Parties, unless otherwise decided by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement.
  3. Extraordinary sessions of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement shall be held at such other times as may be deemed necessary by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement or at the written request of any Party, provided that, within six months of the request being communicated to the Parties by the secretariat, it is supported by at least one third of the Parties.
  4. The United Nations and its specialized agencies and the International Atomic Energy Agency, as well as any State member thereof or observers thereto not party to the Convention, may be represented at sessions of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement as observers. Anybody or agency, whether national or international, governmental or non-governmental, which is qualified in matters covered by this Agreement and which has informed the secretariat of its wish to be represented at a session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement as an observer, may be so admitted unless at least one third of the Parties present object. The admission and participation of observers shall be subject to the rules of procedure referred to in paragraph 5 of this Article.

Article 17

  1. The secretariat established by Article 8 of the Convention shall serve as the secretariat of this Agreement.
  2. Article 8, paragraph 2, of the Convention on the functions of the secretariat, and Article 8, paragraph 3, of the Convention, on the arrangements made for the functioning of the secretariat, shall apply mutatis mutandis to this Agreement. The secretariat shall, in addition, exercise the functions assigned to it under this Agreement and by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement.

FCCC/CP/2015/L.9 30

Article 18

  1. The Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation established by Articles 9 and 10 of the Convention shall serve, respectively, as the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation of this Agreement. The provisions of the Convention relating to the functioning of these two bodies shall apply mutatis mutandis to this Agreement. Sessions of the meetings of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation of this Agreement shall be held in conjunction with the meetings of, respectively, the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation of the Convention.
  2. Parties to the Convention that are not Parties to this Agreement may participate as observers in the proceedings of any session of the subsidiary bodies. When the subsidiary bodies serve as the subsidiary bodies of this Agreement, decisions under this Agreement shall be taken only by those that are Parties to this Agreement. 3. When the subsidiary bodies established by Articles 9 and 10 of the Convention exercise their functions with regard to matters concerning this Agreement, any member of the bureaux of those subsidiary bodies representing a Party to the Convention but, at that time, not a Party to this Agreement, shall be replaced by an additional member to be elected by and from amongst the Parties to this Agreement.

Article 19

  1. Subsidiary bodies or other institutional arrangements established by or under the Convention, other than those referred to in this Agreement, shall serve this Agreement upon a decision of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement. The Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement shall specify the functions to be exercised by such subsidiary bodies or arrangements.
  2. The Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement may provide further guidance to such subsidiary bodies and institutional arrangements.

Article 20

  1. This Agreement shall be open for signature and subject to ratification, acceptance or approval by States and regional economic integration organizations that are Parties to the Convention. It shall be open for signature at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 22 April 2016 to 21 April 2017. Thereafter, this Agreement shall be open for accession from the day following the date on which it is closed for signature. Instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession shall be deposited with the Depositary.
  2. Any regional economic integration organization that becomes a Party to this Agreement without any of its member States being a Party shall be bound by all the obligations under this Agreement. In the case of regional economic integration organizations with one or more member States that are Parties to this Agreement, the organization and its member States shall decide on their respective responsibilities for the performance of their obligations under this Agreement. In such cases, the organization and the member States shall not be entitled to exercise rights under this Agreement concurrently.
  3. In their instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, regional economic integration organizations shall declare the extent of their competence with respect to the matters governed by this Agreement. These organizations shall also inform the Depositary, who shall in turn inform the Parties, of any substantial modification in the extent of their competence.

Article 21

  1. This Agreement shall enter into force on the thirtieth day after the date on which at least 55 Parties to the Convention accounting in total for at least an estimated 55 percent of the total global greenhouse gas emissions have deposited their instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession.
  2. Solely for the limited purpose of paragraph 1 of this Article, “total global greenhouse gas emissions” means the most up-to-date amount communicated on or before the date of adoption of this Agreement by the Parties to the Convention.
  3. For each State or regional economic integration organization that ratifies, accepts or approves this Agreement or accedes thereto after the conditions set out in paragraph 1 of this Article for entry into force have been fulfilled, this Agreement shall enter into force on the thirtieth day after the date of deposit by such State or regional economic integration organization of its instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession.
  1. For the purposes of paragraph 1 of this Article, any instrument deposited by a regional economic integration organization shall not be counted as additional to those deposited by its member States.

Article 22

The provisions of Article 15 of the Convention on the adoption of amendments to the Convention shall apply mutatis mutandis to this Agreement.

Article 23

  1. The provisions of Article 16 of the Convention on the adoption and amendment of annexes to the Convention shall apply mutatis mutandis to this Agreement.
  2. Annexes to this Agreement shall form an integral part thereof and, unless otherwise expressly provided for, a reference to this Agreement constitutes at the same time a reference to any annexes thereto. Such annexes shall be restricted to lists, forms and any other material of a descriptive nature that is of a scientific, technical, procedural or administrative character.

Article 24

The provisions of Article 14 of the Convention on settlement of disputes shall apply mutatis mutandis to this Agreement.

Article 25

  1. Each Party shall have one vote, except as provided for paragraph 2 of this Article.
  2. Regional economic integration organizations, in matters within their competence, shall exercise their right to vote with a number of votes equal to the number of their member States that are Parties to this Agreement. Such an organization shall not exercise its right to vote if any of its member States exercises its right, and vice versa.

Article 26

The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall be the Depositary of this Agreement.

Article 27

No reservations may be made to this Agreement.

Article 28

  1. At any time after three years from the date on which this Agreement has entered into force for a Party, that Party may withdraw from this Agreement by giving written notification to the Depositary.
  2. Any such withdrawal shall take effect upon expiry of one year from the date of receipt by the Depositary of the notification of withdrawal, or on such later date as may be specified in the notification of withdrawal.
  3. Any Party that withdraws from the Convention shall be considered as also having withdrawn from this Agreement.

Article 29

The original of this Agreement, of which the Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish texts are equally authentic, shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

DONE at Paris this twelfth day of December two thousand and fifteen. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the undersigned, being duly authorized to that effect, have signed this Agreement.

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