News 2015-04-30

“Paris will deliver a climate deal”

– We will reach a climate agreement in Paris, and it will initiate a battery of measures to drive change, said Anna Lindstedt, the Swedish climate Ambassador, at a climate meeting in Washington organized by the IVL-led research programme Mistra Indigo.

The international climate negotiations will take place in Paris in December 2015 under the aegis of the UN climate Change Convention, and the Washington meeting focused on the theme Looking ahead towards Paris. The meeting, which was organized by Swedish Embassy in Washington, the Resources for the Future Think Tank and Mistra Indigo, drew a large number of participants and visitors. Hopes are high that the World’s nations will adopt a new international climate agreement in Paris, but to date there have been many compromises and disagreements.

– The Paris Agreement is expected to be both fair and flexible enough to be workable for quite some time into the future, said Alvaro Umaña former Minister of Environment and Energy in Costa Rica and that country's ambassador at the UN Copenhagen Climate Change Conference.

The meeting, which was held at the Swedish Embassy in Washington on 21 April, was of the opinion that an agreement in Paris was likely, but also expressed concern that the outcome will fall short of expectations. The agreement will involve major commitments from all countries but this by itself will not be sufficient, and the directive must be complemented by both national and local initiatives to drive the transition to a climate-smart world. That a lot is happening at the moment outside the UN climate initiative is shown, among other things, by the climate pledges that the US and China made at a joint meeting in November 2014.

Participants also agreed that the 2010 climate summit in Copenhagen to a large degree lacked this insight, and had focused exclusively on the agreement as a comprehensive and primary solution. But now it is apparent that change must be driven by the combination of a range of different measures.

A video recording of the Washington meeting can be viewed at Mistra Indigo's website. Board member and Head of Corporate Relations at Fortum, Birgitta Resvik’s reflections on the meeting are also available.