Nicholas Stern comments on the outcome of COP24

Responding to the outcome of the 24th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24), Nicholas Stern, Chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment and the ESCR Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science, said: “This has been another climate change summit of tough negotiations, but it has ultimately succeeded in its crucial primary task of agreeing the so-called rule book for the Paris Agreement. Countries must now get on with the crucial implementation of their contributions to the Paris Agreement and working out how to increase their reductions in emissions to allow them to submit stronger commitments ahead of the summit in 2020. It is clear that the progress we are making is inadequate given the scale and urgency of the risks we face. The latest figures show carbon dioxide emissions are still rising, and the report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change earlier this year made clear the very serious dangers we all face if global warming exceeds 1.5 Celsius degrees. No country can claim it is unaware of the threat climate change poses to lives and livelihoods across the whole world. There is an increasing understanding in countries, cities, companies and civil society that the transition to the zero-carbon economy is the inclusive growth story of the 21st century. A much more attractive, clean and efficient path for economic development and poverty reduction is in our hands.  In grasping this opportunity we can and must manage the processes of change involved in  economic development and growth, of which the zero-carbon transition will be part, much better than in the past. It must be a just transition. We will need strong political leadership on climate change in 2019, including at the special summit to be hosted by the United Nations Secretary-General in September.”