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Paris Agreement: 1 year after COP21

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The Paris Agreement on climate change was adopted a year ago today, in Paris, at COP21. It is essentially a plan to save our planet from the worst impacts of climate change and build a sustainable future for humanity. It was a historic agreement, made all the more remarkable by the momentum for climate action that it created.

So this is a time to celebrate. But it is also a time to look forward to what comes next. And here’s what I think we should be focusing on now:

Raising Ambition

We have to increase our ambition. The only way to ensure that we achieve the 1.5°C threshold set out in the Paris Agreement is to raise our ambition. We already know that what countries have currently committed to will take us to beyond 2.9°C or even 3.4°C of warming. So it is in our hands – in the hands of citizens, in the hands of governments, in the hands of cities – to raise ambition and, as WWF, we are working tirelessly to ensure this and to advocate for it.

New milestones

Two key milestones are on the horizon, and it is vital that we make the most of these opportunities to further the promise of the Paris Agreement:

• 2018: This must be the next key moment where the world comes together again for COP25 and the planned Facilitative Dialogue. This will be the first opportunity to take stock of our collective efforts to reduce emissions and to improve the ambition in the Paris Agreement through informing enhanced national climate action plans.

• 2020: Science tells us that we have to peak emissions as soon as possible. And 2020 is the year that we should ideally achieve this if we are serious about making progress on our global climate plan set out in the Paris Agreement, or the Sustainable Development Goals.


Even as we celebrate the first year of the Paris Agreement on climate change, we have to also work harder to defend it and ensure that it is fully implemented. We have to avoid climate negativism. We should work to define our own commitments to the Paris Agreement and, in so doing, move our world towards making a place where people and nature can live in harmony. WWF is energetic in its efforts to ensure this.

For us to achieve the promise of Paris, we need everyone – from ordinary people to our leaders – to frist believe that together it is possible to deal with consequences of climate change, and then to act on that.

Together, it’s possible.

Manuel Pulgar-Vidal is the leader of WWF Climate & Energy Practice. He is based in Lima, Peru.

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The plan to save our planet – #ParisAgreement – adopted 1 year ago today  @climateWWF @WWF

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