30 November – 11 December 2015

In December 2015, the UN process around the Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) delivered an international agreement/framework for post-2020 GHG reduction commitments at COP21 (the 21st annual Conference of Parties to the UN Climate Convention).  This is now known as the Paris Agreement.

Learn more about the conference

Why do the outcomes of COP21 matter to business?

COP21 was a major milestone in international climate negotiations to deliver new GHG reduction commitments from all countries around the world, with the aim of keeping global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius .  It is anticipated these commitments will create new frameworks for national actions on climate change and generate new demands on business to reduce their GHG emissions, improve energy efficiency and switch to less carbon-intensive fuels.

  • 187 Countries are now covered by country plans and commitments known as ‘Intended Nationally Determined Contributions’ or ‘INDCs’ for national action on GHGs (this covers over 98 percent of global GHG emissions)

  • The INDCs should ‘represent a progression beyond the current undertaking of that Party’ and should include, among others, quantifiable information on the reference point (including, as appropriate, a base year), time frames and/or periods for implementation, scope and coverage, planning processes, assumptions and methodological approaches including those for estimating and accounting for GHG emissions, and how the Party considers that its INDC is fair and ambitious, in light of its national circumstances, and how it contributes towards achieving the objective of the Convention (i.e. preventing more than 2 degrees of climate change).

For energy intensive and/or large companies operating in more than one jurisdiction, they will need to understand, and respond to, the complex regime of pricing mechanisms, regulations and policies that will emerge in each different country/union around the world.

ERM Webinar series

In February of 2016, ERM hosted a series of webinars discussing what the outcomes of the Paris Agreement at COP21 mean for business. There was significant interest from around the world in the four webinars in this series, demonstrating that business is actively engaging in how they can respond to the risks and opportunities that lie ahead.

Watch ERM's presentation as delivered to the Americas community

ERM at the Conference

ERM has had a presence at many of the COPs over the 21 years and in recent years, has strategically focused efforts on attendance at the COP itself, along with engaging clients before, during and after the event.  We have released our post COP21 findings, and will be hosting a series of webinars and client events in early 2016.

ERM held side events with WBCSD/IETA
ERM hosted two side events in the WBCSD/IETA within the UN Conference arena area during COP21 and will be releasing the outcomes of these in due course.

  • Adapting businesses to climate change in a modern globalized economy

  • Supporting the Success of Green Climate Fund Projects: The Important Role of Sustainability and Environmental & Social Safeguards

Please contact [email protected] to connect with a member of our team who can help you work through what The Paris Agreement means for your business.

Post COP21 Update

11 January 2016

The Agreement reached at COP21 in Paris, the successful culmination of six years of international negotiations, is stronger than expected. 

The Paris Climate Agreement: Implications for banks, institutional investors, private equity and insurers

15 February 2016

ERM and the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership have published a new paper providing analysis of the most pressing points of the Paris Agreement for financial institutions.

ERM and WBCSD Report: Building Resilience in Global Supply Chains

15 December 2015

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) launched the Building Resilience in Global Supply Chains, co-authored by ERM.