The Paris Agreement: Successes, disappointments, and the road ahead

In his opening remarks  to the media during the closing day of the COP21 climate talks  in Le Bourget, France on 11 December 2015, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon shared, “I have been attending many difficult multilateral negotiations, but by any standard, this negotiation is most complicated, most difficult, but most important for humanity.”

This statement reflects the weight of expectations placed on COP21. For many, the Paris Agreement was a success, reflecting a universal, explicit acknowledgement among the nations of the world, that climate change is a serious issue requiring urgent action. However, while long on ambition, the Agreement falls short on steps for concrete action.