The event was hosted by the Yale Center for Business and the Environment
, a center based at F&ES and the Yale School of Management, which inspires research and builds relationships to advance business solutions to the world’s environmental challenges. It was co-sponsored by WE@Yale
, a collaborative movement to support women innovators and entrepreneurs across the Yale campus, and the Yale School of Management’s Energy Club.
The Paris Accords focused on establishing commitments from each member nation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. Previous research had established 2020 as the deadline for reversing the global rise in greenhouse gas emissions in order to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, to stay within a 2-degree C increase, and to protect the global economy.
The historic agreement has the potential to make a tremendous contribution to reducing global climate change because it set the groundwork for a coordinated global reduction in emissions-causing activity, Figueres said. Each member nation presented their own solutions to reducing greenhouse gases based on their own economic, technological, political and environmental realities.
“The Paris Agreement is based on the enlightened self-interest of countries,” Figueres said. This adds more force to the commitments. The agreement also included a commitment to reconvene every five years to assess progress and make new commitments, with the goal of achieving net-zero emissions by midcentury. Most nations — with the exception of the United States — are on track to reaching or surpassing their 2020 goals, she said.