Top 10 Things NGOs Must Do After the Paris Climate Agreement

The governments that met and signed the Paris Agreement on climate change have acknowledged the importance of efforts to hold planetary warming close to 1.5 degrees. Yet the agreement contains no firm commitments necessary to achieve even a two-degree goal. Studies show that high-ambition but non-binding agreements have the potential to succeed when civil society and other social institutions actively engage governments to ensure ambitious words are turned into actions. Climate change has impact on the mission of all types of NGOs. If not checked, the economic and social fallout from extreme weather events will sweep away any social gains NGOs have made in past decades.

For both these reasons, which are expanded in the second part of this paper, we offer ten actions NGOs should be taking to play their part in ensuring the Paris Agreement achieves what it must.

1. Push leaders for full and speedy ratification of the Paris Agreement
2. Lobby for ambitious targets, real timetables and effective financing
3. Make sure vulnerable people don’t bear the cost of change
4. Foster broad stakeholder engagement in implementing the Paris Agreement.
5. Play an active role in the climate justice movement
6. Don’t become a token 
7. Make sure technical innovation serves ordinary people and doesn’t lead to further marginalization
8. Keep up the pressure to end the fossil fuel era
9. Embed climate change mitigation and adaptation in core programmes
10. Walk the talk inside your organization


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