Christiana Figueres: Achieving the Promise of Paris
When the Paris climate agreement was signed last December, climate advocates everywhere were euphoric. For the first time, the world was united in the climate fight and the commitment to a low-carbon future. Now comes the real challenge – turning those commitments into action.
In this Q & A, Christiana Figueres, who as UN Climate Chief was crucial to the success of the Paris talks, explains the next steps needed for the world to meet its goals. First of all, the countries need to formally join the agreement when it opens for signature later this month. But Figueres also stresses that businesses, cities, regions, and faith groups need to push ahead with their own actions, not only for the good of their nations and the planet, but for their own self-interests.
Optimism was key to Figueres’ approach in Paris, and seeing the world come together on this issue has made her more optimistic than ever about the transformation ahead.
Figureres will be speaking at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies on April 25. To submit a question, click here.
By Kevin Dennehy, Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies
The recent Paris climate accord was the result of work by thousands of players from across the world — including dozens from the Yale community. But no one played a more central role at the historic negotiations than Christiana Figueres, who has piloted the global climate talks since 2010.
Figueres, who as Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) spent six years convincing nearly 200 countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, has called the climate accord a “historical achievement.” But she also knows that the hard work has just begun.
On April 25 she will discuss the urgent new phase in the fight to curb global warming during a talk at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.
In anticipation of her visit, we asked Figueres to describe what the next phase of the climate fight will require, how the global community can achieve the promise of Paris, and the role institutions like Yale can play in the transition to a clean-energy economy.