The World Academy of Art & Science and World University Consortium jointly issue this statement in association with Club of Rome, Earth Charter International, Ecosocial Forum Europe, Global Marshall Plan Initiative, Green Cross International, and Plant for the Planet. They have issued a joint statement commenting on the final document from COP21 in Paris. While the deal isn’t perfect, it is nevertheless a promising text that encourages nations to adopt more ambitious cuts in emissions as new technology becomes available.

The statement is as follows:

COP 21 has produced an accord reaffirming the world’s collective action on greenhouse gas emissions. This accord is not ideal. It can be and will be criticised for many shortcomings: it has still to prove to developing countries that the flows of finance, mostly from the private sector, will be sufficient for the assistance they need; and to demonstrate that the mechanisms for review, transparency, and accountability in meeting the emissions targets are sound.

However, the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) – on curbing the emissions beyond 2020, when current commitments, agreed at Copenhagen in 2009, run out -- have been taken by almost all 195 nations that have participated in PariClimat, thus converting the framework nature of climate change agenda into a practical process. The results of COP 21 provide favorable conditions for future success, create incentives for innovation, develop markets that could help to keep global warming below 2C pre-industrial levels (pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5C), and take into account the legitimate needs and aspirations of developing countries.

The significance of this accord extends beyond its immediate impact on climate. It reflects the emergence of an unprecedented level of consensus and commitment for collective action by the nations of the world. It offers promise that humanity can act collectively in a spirit of cooperation to address the other extremely complex and difficult challenges confronting us in our endeavour to promote peace, security and prosperity for all human beings.