Quirks & Quarks

The Climate Challenge - Beyond Paris

There's a lot of optimism that the world may come to a significant agreement on climate change in Paris, but the hard work starts after the agreement.

What must happen after the Paris Climate Change Conference

(Taxiarchos228, cc-by-3.0)
Next week, world leaders meet in Paris to decide the future of the world. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 21st Conference of Parties meeting – known as COP21 - is going to make another attempt to reach an agreement on how we might control greenhouse gas emissions, and keep future climate change below dangerous levels of warming.

Many observers are optimistic that this meeting might see a breakthrough agreement on limiting global emissions. But an agreement is only the starting point. After that comes the hard work, which will include finding ways for the developed world to decarbonize their economies, and move to emission-free energy systems, helping the developing world to progress economically without increasing their emissions, and adapting and mitigating the climate change that will inevitably happen, even if we slow and reverse our emissions growth. All of this will involve complex political, economic, technological and scientific cooperation.

To discuss how this future could unfold, we're joined by three leading voices on climate change issues, with three different perspectives.

Dr. Kathryn Hochstetler is a political scientist with a particular interest in climate change issues, particularly in the developing world. She's CIGI Chair of Governance in the Americas at the Balsillie School of International Affairs, and Professor of Political Science at the University of Waterloo.

Dr. Mark Jaccard is an environmental economist, a contributor to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change, and served on Canada's National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy. He's a Professor of Sustainable Energy in the School of Resource and  Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University.

Dr. Sybil Seitzinger is an oceanographer and climate scientist, and Executive Director of the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions and a Professor of Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria.