STATEMENT: ODI response to the COP21 Paris agreement

12 December 2015

Paris climate agreement – a good start, now for the hard part

Kevin Watkins, executive director of the Overseas Development Institute, said:

"The Paris climate summit has taken an important step in the right direction. This is a stronger agreement than expected; and governments around the world have demonstrated an understanding that we face a common threat and we are all in this together.

"In Paris we have seen the private sector, cities, local governments and low carbon investors building new alliances and partnerships to tackle climate change.

"But the world now has to prepare for the huge leap needed to implement this deal and to protect the planet’s most vulnerable people.

"The talks have delivered a high level of ambition, but ultimately the Paris summit will be judged by the actions governments take over the weeks, months and years ahead. This includes putting a credible price on carbon, cutting fossil fuel subsidies, getting out of coal and creating an enabling environment for low carbon investment.

"If there is one area that must be prioritised then it is the deal on offer for the world’s poor. The livelihoods – and, in some cases, the lives – of millions of vulnerable people are at stake.

"While there has been significant financial support offered, more is needed to ensure poor countries are not left paying the price for a climate crisis that is not of their making.

"It is a tough message to deliver after two weeks of intense negotiations that have delivered an ambitious deal, but the challenge governments are facing can be summarised in five words – ‘now for the hard part’."