Climate change is a global problem that requires a global solution.
The Paris Agreement was an important step toward creating an international commitment to limit global warming, but the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw means the United States needs to return to its leadership role in the fight against climate change. Delaney is proposing a new international climate agreement, Paris 2.0, that will have two main features. First, a firm commitment from every member of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to achieve global net zero carbon emissions by 2050, and second, the establishment of a new Global Institute of Climate and Energy Solutions to support the research and innovation we will need to develop the technologies that will solve the climate crisis.
Achieving Global Net Zero by 2050
Signers of the original Paris Agreement committed to pursue a 1.5°C limit to global warming, but fully implementing the Nationally Determined Contributions at the core of the agreement would only reduce greenhouse gas emissions enough to limit global warming to an increase of 2.6–3.1°C.1 The difference between that level of global warming and the goal set in Paris of a 1.5°C increase is higher extreme temperatures, higher sea level rise, increased risks of drought, greater destruction of animal habitats, and increased risks of adverse effects on human health. To limit global warming to our goal of 1.5°C, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says we will need to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.2 Paris 2.0 will establish firm, realistic commitments from every member of the UNFCCC to enact the emissions reductions that are necessary to limit warming to 1.5°C and avoid the worst effects of global warming.
Establishing the Global Institute of Climate and Energy Solutions
Global cooperation and major technological innovation will both be necessary to develop the solutions we need to stop net carbon emissions while still meeting our energy needs, which is why Delaney’s Paris 2.0 agreement will establish the Global Institute of Climate and Energy Solutions. The Institute will support research to benefit the development of cost-effective renewable energy, energy storage, energy transmission, and carbon capture technologies. The Institute will also support the implementation of new climate solutions by requiring any commercialization in wealthy countries to subsidize the distribution of new technologies in countries with developing economies.
- The Institute will employ scientists and researchers directly for its intramural research programs, and will also make grants to support extramural research at academic institutions around the world.
- To ensure the research it supports addresses all of the international community’s diverse set of needs, and to reaffirm our commitment to global cooperation, the Institute will be based in multiple headquarters throughout the world.
- Breakthrough technologies developed with support from the Institute may be commercialized in high income countries but must be freely available in countries with developing economies.
- The United States will commit $50 billion to the Institute over 10 years, and contributions from the European Union, China, and high income countries will provide the Institute with a total funding level of $200 billion.
- “The world has the right climate goals — but the wrong ambition levels to achieve them.” Washington Post, 2016.
- “Global Warming of 1.5°C: Summary for Policymakers” Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2018.