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BSR COP21 Daily Dispatches

December 11 / Day 12

Editor’s Note

At press time for today’s COP21 Daily Dispatch—our last edition—ministers were in the midst of a 23-hour negotiation that is supposed to run through 6 p.m. CET this evening. Around the world, people are eagerly awaiting what is likely to be an historic Paris Agreement.

The Human Energy art installation at the Eiffel Tower. Photo: Yann Caradec

The Human Energy art installation at the Eiffel Tower. Photo: Yann Caradec

Business came to Paris looking for ambition captured in commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mobilize finance, confidence that governments would progressively raise their emissions-reductions commitments, a level playing field across all major economies, and certainty that a long-term path to decarbonization would begin in Paris. With 24 hours remaining, we have already secured the first three of these things, and the final, critical elements are still in play.

Over the course of the next several hours, governments face a choice: They can settle on a diplomatic agreement, or they can craft a catalytic instrument for ambition. I believe they will do the latter. When the time comes, I look forward to celebrating the dawn of the new climate economy—and we are excited to partner with business to implement innovative solutions.

What's Important Now

The current draft Paris Agreement already includes clear signals that provide the confidence, ambition, and level playing field the business community was seeking a fortnight ago. These signals now need to be locked in, including:

  • The purpose of funneling financial flows to the low-emission, climate-resilient economy
  • Voluntary, long-term, low-emission development strategies from countries
  • Updating national targets every five years, including five years from now
  • Future commitments that progress beyond previous ones and reflect each country’s highest possible ambition
  • A strong ‘Workstream 2’ to accelerate pre-2020 ambition and address both mitigation and adaptation

Edward Cameron

BSR's Climate Insights

  • Bending the Curve on Climate Change While Enhancing Human Rights: Read more
  • Why Paris Is Not Another Copenhagen: Read more
  • Let’s Support the COP21 French Presidency and a Strong Paris Agreement: Read more
  • Midsession COP21 Report: What Happened in Week 1, Expectations for Week 2, and How Business Can Act: Read more
  • Business Asks Climate Negotiators for Specific Text in Paris Agreement to Ensure Ambition: Read more
  • For Ambitious Climate Action Before 2020, Business Should Focus on ‘Workstream 2’: Read more

What We're Reading

And given that yesterday was International Human Rights Day, we have a few readings on the connections between climate change and human rights:

  • Report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the Relationship Between Climate Change and Human Rights | January 15, 2009: Read more (PDF)
  • Climate Change and Human Rights: A Rough Guide | International Council on Human Rights Policy | 2008: Read more


  • December 16, 8-9 a.m. PST: “Road Through Paris Briefing: First Results from COP” webinar

    Join this webinar to hear from BSR’s COP21 delegation on initial takeaways from Paris, including insights on the diplomatic agreement, what the agreement means for business, what kind of business and investor commitments were announced at COP21, and the media coverage and narrative during the climate talks. For more information, visit: www.bsr.org/en/events/view/road-through-paris-briefing-first-results-from-cop21.


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BSR’s “Business in a Climate-Constrained World” strategy catalyzes private-sector action on climate resilience in two ways: by helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions consistent with holding global mean temperature rises to less than 2°C above pre-industrial levels and by enhancing adaptive capacity in the face of inevitable climate impacts.


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About BSR

BSR is a global nonprofit organization that works with its network of more than 250 member companies to build a just and sustainable world. From its offices in Asia, Europe, and North America, BSR develops sustainable business strategies and solutions through consulting, research, and cross-sector collaboration. Visit www.bsr.org for more information about BSR’s more than 20 years of leadership in sustainability.

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