Transforming the Paris climate pledges into the achievement of a low-carbon future

Transforming the Paris climate pledges into the achievement of a low-carbon future
10 November 2015

As the world prepares for December’s crucial climate negotiations in Paris, attention has been focussed on whether the plans submitted to date are sufficient to meet the 2 degree target – a new paper published today by Ricardo Energy & Environment highlights the overlooked question of how to ensure that countries turn their plans into a low carbon, climate-resilient future.

In the run up to the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21), more than 150 countries – representing more than 90% of global emissions – will have submitted ‘Intended Nationally Determined Contributions’ (INDCs), which comprise the targets, policies and actions that each country will contribute towards the collective goal of limiting dangerous climate impact. The adequacy of these commitments in restricting the worsening effects of climate change has been a contentious issue. However, after Paris the international community must move on from this debate and focus on implementing INDC actions and delivering what countries, and the planet, really want – achievement of their climate goals.

Implementing the Paris Climate Agreement: Turning Action Plans into Achievement, published today by Ricardo Energy & Environment, provides a clear framework for countries to follow in delivering their climate ambitions. The paper draws upon the consultancy’s experience supporting both developed and developing countries in the formulation and implementation of national climate policies. It highlights five essential and intrinsically linked pillars of INDC implementation that provide a pathway to a low carbon, climate resilient economy, alongside case studies demonstrating how countries are already leading the way in climate response.

“Understandably, there has been a lot of focus on the adequacy of INDCs and whether countries have submitted contributions that are fair and ambitious,” explains Ricardo Energy & Environment’s international director, Chris Dodwell, who is also the author of the paper. “However, it is essential that we do not take our eye off the key component of these plans – their implementation. Every country faces its own unique challenges in determining how it will tackle climate change. Our experience suggests that this clearly defined framework can help all nations, from developed countries to small island developing states, achieve their INDC ambitions. We hope that the paper that we have published today will provide valuable insight and guidance into this process and support countries in converting the momentum generated ahead of Paris into real climate achievements.”

Ultimately, the success of the Paris agreement will be judged on how effectively it supports the achievement of countries’ national climate plans. To find out how Ricardo Energy & Environment and its teams are providing support to help countries to develop, implement and monitor the impact of INDC policies and achieve their climate goals, visit:  

To request a download of the paper ‘Implementing the Paris Climate Agreement: Turning Action Plans into Achievement’, visit:  


A full copy of this press release is available from the link at the top right of this page.