COP-21: Reactions to the Paris climate agreement

Published 20:10 on December 12, 2015  /  Last updated at 16:54 on October 8, 2018  / Stian Reklev /  Climate Talks, International  /  Comments Off on COP-21: Reactions to the Paris climate agreement

State leaders, business groups and environmentalists on Saturday welcomed the Paris Agreement, but some also said the deal did not go far enough to stave off dangerous climate change. We have gathered a selection of reactions to the new climate deal from a variety of observers.

State leaders, business groups and environmentalists on Saturday welcomed the Paris Agreement, but some also said the deal did not go far enough to stave off dangerous climate change. We have gathered a selection of reactions to the new climate deal from a variety of observers.


“A monumental success for the planet and its people … we have solid results on all key points… The current level of ambition is the floor and not the ceiling. Markets now have the clear signal they need to unleash the full force of human ingenuity and scale up their investments.”
Ban Ki-moon, general secretary, UN

“This is a tremendous victory for all of our citizens…It’s a victory for all of the planet and future generations.”
John Kerry, secretary of state, US

“The Agreement is fair and just, comprehensive and balanced, highly ambitious, enduring and effective … it sends a strong and positive signal the world is moving to a low carbon economy.”
Xie Zhenhua, special representative on climate change, China

“What is so special about this deal is that it puts the onus on every country to play its part.”
David Cameron, prime minister, UK

““Today is an historic day. We have written a new chapter of hope in the lives of 7 billion people on the planet. The path to development must be paved with equity.”
Prakash Javadekar, environment minister, India

“It gives us comfort that we know what the major economies are doing, our major trading partners are doing, our trading competitors are doing…It certainly means there is flexibility for us to do more, and the spirit of the agreement is to encourage countries to be ambitious, to aim higher and to take into account their circumstance.”
Julie Bishop, foreign minister, Australia

“Venezuela has already submitted its INDC. We are going to support this agreement.”
Claudia Salerno, chief negotiator, Venezuela

“We have made history today. Emissions targets are still way off track, but this agreement has the tools to ramp up ambition, and brings a spirit of hope that we can rise to this challenge. I can go back home to my people and say we now have a pathway to survival.”
Tony de Brum, minister of foreign affairs, Marshall Islands

“The Paris Agreement gives businesses and investors the policy certainty they crave and provides a vital foundation for a healthier, stronger and, more prosperous economy. Companies, cities and governments are realizing that can do well, by doing good. From now, on, the smart money will no longer go into fossil fuels, but into cleaner energy, smarter cities, and more sustainable land use.”
Felipe Calderón, chair of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate and former president of Mexico


“It leaves no one behind – protecting the poorest people and the most vulnerable countries by calling on all of us to hold the increase in temperatures to well below 2C and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5C.”
Jim Yong Kim, president, World Bank

“The consequences of this agreement go far beyond the actions of governments. They will be felt in banks, stock exchanges, board rooms and research centres as the world absorbs the fact that we are embarking on an unprecedented project to decarbonise the global economy. This realisation will unlock trillions of dollars and the immense creativity and innovation of the private sector who will rise to the challenge in a way that will avert the worst effects of climate change.”
Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever

“The Paris deal gets us part of the way and ups the ante for climate action with a 1.5C goal. The race to stabilise the climate is now on in earnest. The industrial transformation required is bigger and more rapid than at any time in our history: it must be a just transition and it will take all of us.”
Sharan Burrow, general secretary, International Trade Union Confederation and leader, B Team

“The outcome of COP 21 is a significant step forward. There is increasing recognition among policymakers of the huge financial losses that climate change will cause. We now need real action by each country to cut emissions domestically and establish a material price for carbon. The UK government, for example, must move quickly to provide a credible plan for meeting its carbon targets.”
Euan Munro, CEO, Aviva Investors

“This is a better than expected deal which is really encouraging. It shows the world united, committed to beating climate change. The need now is for Governments and regulators to set consistent long-term policies on which investors can rely.”
Simon Howard, chief executive, UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association

“Change is likely to be swift as pension funds recognise their fiduciary duty to address climate risk in all parts of their portfolios and, where necessary, to reallocate investment away from high carbon-related activity likely to destroy substantial shareholder value in a remarkably short time.”
Donald MacDonald, chair of IIGCC and trustee director of BTPS

“This agreement has put down important markers that provide a floor to our ambition, not a ceiling for mitigation, adaptation or climate finance.”
Peter Damgaard Jensen, CEO, Danish pension fund PKA

“The Paris outcome threads the needle. It’s a legally binding agreement, but not the kind that puts the kibosh on US participation by requiring Senate approval. It’s very different from Kyoto, which split the world into two halves, only one of which was required to reduce its emissions. Paris represents a paradigm shift, by establishing a common framework for everyone, while giving countries flexibility to reflect their national circumstances.”
Dan Bodansky, Center for Law and Global Affairs, Arizona State University

“This agreement signals the end of the fossil fuel era as the world rapidly replaces coal, oil and gas with clean energy sources.”
Tim Flannery, chief councillor, Climate Council


“The deal sets out the objective of limiting temperature rises to 1.5 degrees, but the emissions targets on the table take us closer to 3 degrees. That’s a critical problem, but it’s one with a solution. Renewable energy is already doing heavy-lifting across the globe, but now its moment must come.”
Kumi Naidoo, executive director, Greenpeace International

“The agreement’s temperature goal, net zero emissions objective, and processes to steadily increase the ambition of national emissions reduction commitments combine to send a clear message to the fossil fuel industry: after decades of deception and denial, your efforts to block action on climate change are no longer working.”
Alden Meyer, director of policy and strategy, Union of Concerned Scientists

“If the outcome of the Paris climate Summit was meant to keep the window open for a 1.5 degree temperature limit – crucial if we are to protect the most vulnerable people from the worst impacts, and to avoid runaway climate change – then Paris has failed.”
Lucy Cadena, climate justice and energy coordinator, Friends of the Earth International

“Significantly, the agreement aims to limit warming to well below 2 degrees and pursue efforts to limiting to 1.5 degrees, sending a strong signal that Governments are committed to being in line with the science. It also puts in place a process to regularly review and increase targets, with the first update slated for 2020. This will be critical to close the current carbon pollution gap, which currently has us on track for 3 degrees of warming.”
Kellie Caught, WWF Australia

“At the moment the draft Paris agreement still puts us on track for 3 degree world. The reviews are too weak and too late. The political number mentioned for finance has no bearing on the scale of need. It’s empty. The iceberg has struck, the ship is going down and the band is still playing to warm applause.”
Chee Yoke Ling, director, Third World Network

“Although different countries will move at different speeds, the transition to a low carbon world is now inevitable. Governments, investors and businesses must ride this wave or be swept away by it.”
Mohamed Adow, senior climate advisor, Christian Aid

“Decisive leadership and action from President Obama and other world leaders, an increasingly powerful climate movement, and strong progress in the U.S. and globally to move off coal cleared the way for every nation to come to the table.”
Michael Brune, executive director, Sierra Club

“The EU now needs to live up to the Paris agreement and recalibrate the climate targets for 2030 during the next European Council in March. It also needs to cut emissions much more drastically starting now. In particular, we expect the European Council to raise the 2030 emission reduction target well beyond 40%, to improve the renewables and energy efficiency targets and to tackle fossil fuel subsidies.”
Wendel Trio, director, CAN Europe

“This deal does not deliver climate justice: Justice requires accountability, responsibility, remedies and action by the perpetrators. Polluters got another unwarranted good behaviour bond and more opportunities to profit from climate change.”
Kate Lappin, Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development

By Carbon Pulse –