RAND Experts on the Paris Climate Change Accord

December 17, 2015

More than 20 years after world leaders first tried hammering out an accord to tackle climate change, negotiators from 195 nations at the COP21 summit in Paris adopted an agreement that is being hailed as "historic, durable, and ambitious." In this Call with the Experts, RAND Senior Scientist Robert Lempert, and RAND Principal Researcher, Debra Knopman, answer questions about the agreement and what comes next. Media relations director Jeffrey Hiday moderated the call.

  • Environmentalists hold a banner which reads in part, "For the Climate," near the Eiffel Tower during the World Climate Change Conference 2015

    COP21: Ambition and Momentum

    Dec 17, 2015

    Negotiators in Paris achieved a historic breakthrough by adopting a fundamentally different, and likely more effective, institutional framework to address climate change. It builds on two concepts missing from past attempts to forge a global treaty: voluntary participation and adaptive policymaking.

  • The amphibious assault ship USS Wasp passes the guided-missile destroyers USS Cole and USS James E. Williams on its way to the pier in New Orleans, Louisiana

    Climate Change Is a National Security Issue, but Not for the Reasons You Think

    Dec 16, 2015

    All U.S. policy decisions can and should be guided by clear evidence. Climate change policy is no exception. The United States should focus on addressing the clearest vulnerabilities, such as securing coastal defense infrastructure.

  • A man applies a sticker which reads 100% electric next to the logo of the upcoming COP21 Climate Change Conference on a Nissan LEAF electric car in Boulogne-Billancourt, France, November 16, 2015

    COP 21 Not a Silver Bullet on Climate Change

    Nov 24, 2015

    The Paris climate conference cannot provide the engine that will drive a solution to the world's climate change challenge. Rather, it can best serve as a mediator that will help guide and structure the swirling, bottom-up process of radical change that is the best hope of preserving Earth's climate.

  • Engineer looking at factory emissions

    Climate Targets: Values and Uncertainty

    Aug 11, 2015

    Policymakers know that the risks associated with climate change mean they need to cut greenhouse-gas emissions. But uncertainty surrounding the likelihood of different scenarios makes choosing specific policies difficult.

  • Global climate change visualization

    Adapting to a Hotter World

    Oct 2, 2015

    Because climate change is largely irreversible, mitigation alone won't solve the problem. While mitigation will prevent even greater, future climatic changes, adaptation — efforts to adjust to climate change's effects — will prepare the world for a new set of living conditions, whatever they may be.