World leaders reach historic deal to tackle climate change

14 December, 2015

Diplomatic efforts and international willingness to compromise brought a historic climate agreement in Paris this weekend as 196 countries agreed a landmark deal to tackle global warming. The 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) brought together 50,000 people including 150 World Leaders to limit the global temperature rise to 2˚C with a target of 1.5˚C.

Meeting these ambitious targets will be an immense challenge for both developed and developing countries. However, even limiting the rise to 2˚C will still see flooding of many low countries such as Bangladesh. In 2016 Wilton Park is proposing a discussion on flooding, looking to improve early warning systems and reduce risk of impact. We are also working towards projects linking global prosperity and climate change, including exploring energy futures in South-East Asia, and integrating climate policy with global financial systems.

Our 2016 plans builds on a decade of work on climate change, in which we brought together nearly 600 global experts of all backgrounds to work on issues ranging from low carbon infrastructure investment to the creation of green economies. In partnership with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we ran a three year series of events looking into reducing risk from disasters and extreme weather, working with the Asia Disaster Preparedness Centre in Bangkok amongst others.

The success of COP21 now relies on continuing the conversation, working together to lower emissions, promote prosperity and reduce impact. We believe the solutions can and must be internationally driven, and we look forward to working with partners from across the glove to support these efforts.

We are particularly interested in exploring the impact of climate change on agriculture and health, and we welcome ideas and encourage partners to get in touch.

In his speech to COP21, Prime Minister David Cameron concluded that

“instead of making excuses tomorrow…, we should be taking action against climate change today. What we are looking for is not difficult, it is doable and therefore we should come together and do it.”

For nearly 70 years, Wilton Park has brought people from around the world together to address issues of global concern including climate change. As governments and policymakers look to the challenges of implementing the COP21 agreement, we stand ready to continue to work alongside the international community meet those challenges head on.

Related events

Disaster prevention, preparedness and response in Southeast Asia: maximising a gender-inclusive approach (2014)

Real green economies (2014)

European low carbon infrastructure projects (2013)

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