Climate Change Backgrounder – The Road to Paris (May 2015)

Almost 200 countries will meet in Paris this December for a legally-binding global climate agreement on curbing carbon emissions, with the goal of limiting global warming to 2ºC from pre-industrial levels. This is the 21st UNFCCC COP (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – Conference of the Parties).


The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCN) say that it is highly probable that the 2ºC threshold will be breached and that ambitious targets for reducing emissions are essential.

The 4th assessment IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) targets for GHG reduction were 25-40% by 2020 and 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. Canada’s new goals — presented as 30% reduction of 2005 emission levels by 2030 – represent only a 2% reduction, when adjusted to the baseline year of 1990. And Canada’s track record of staying on target is poor.

About Centre for Civic Governance

The Centre for Civic Governance works to support community leadership meeting today’s social and environmental challenges: climate change, Canada’s increasing equity gap, and shifting social trends. At the Centre for Civic Governance, our goal is to strengthen Canadian communities through sharing best practices, providing tools for locally elected leaders, and progressive policy analysis. We strive to provide knowledge and information to make real and positive social change.