Why Climate Change Policy is Human Rights Policy–and Vice Versa

– Okay, good evening My name is Phillip Olsten I’m one of the directors of the NYU Law School’s Center for Human Rights and Global Justice Along with my colleagues, Professors Meg Satterthwaite, Ryan Goodman and Sally Engle Murray, we have a Human Rights Center which seeks to do a lot of work on very traditional human rights issues, what we refer to as civil and political rights issues, standard violations, et cetera But we also aim to go well beyond that and to try to situate human rights challenges by looking explicitly at economic, social and cultural rights, for example, and looking at the systemic nature of many of the problems and challenges that arise The focus tonight on climate change and human rights, looking at the Paris Agreement exemplifies of course that approach taking one of the single most dramatic challenges to the international community and asking where and how human rights might fit into both the problems and more importantly, the solutions It’s with great pleasure tonight that I’m going to introduce our keynote speaker, Christiana Figueres She is the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, and has been in that position since 2010 So she has been a key part of the tumultuous years of trying to make for earlier failings in this area to get an international agreement She was before taking this position, a Costa Rican diplomat, a member of the Costa Rican delegation engaged in the climate change discussions She founded the Center for Sustainable Development in the Americas in 1995 And she has, as Executive Secretary, played an absolutely crucial role Executive secretaries in a major area like this are in an impossible situation I presume it’s a job that you wanted, but it’s not a job that anyone would expect to be able to please all of the constituencies You’re inevitably caught in the middle, as is always the case with senior United Nations officials, with civil society, with various groups pressing in certain directions, governments pressing in other directions, and it’s the executive secretary who tries to make things work despite all of the pressures And Christiana Figueres has an extremely good reputation as someone who has brought a very positive approach to that, has sought to reach out to be inclusive, and I think we at least know her by her photograph I guess it’s almost an iconic photograph now of her standing with Francois Hollande, Laurent Fabius and Ban Ki Moon in Paris signaling the dramatic conclusion, successful conclusion of long and protracted negotiations We’re particularly delighted that she’s going to address the human rights dimension of this, where they might fit in This is not an easy or even a popular angle Governments have long been resistant as they are in many other areas to trying to recognize the links The final agreement has one provision in the preamble, which is fairly extensive, but it is in the B list, or the C list if you like, in other words the preamble and not in the substantive part of the agreement I want to, before giving the floor to Christiana Figueres,

just to thank my colleagues from the center, particularly Tina Zestroopa, who conceived of this idea basically and pushed it forward, and Audrey Watney, who has done a huge amount of the work in getting all of this organized We’re going to have a question and answer session after the talk, and we hope that will be genuinely interactive, and I would encourage you to be thinking about questions that you might want to ask in response to the remarks that we’re about to here So enough from me, and a very, very warm welcome to our distinguished guest speaker (audience applauding) – This is what I usually do, right? Put the microphone down to my level How can we do that? Hold on, do I actually need a microphone? Can you all hear me back there? – I think if you just sort of leave that there, it’ll pick up anyway – Somehow microphones were always made for big people, I don’t know why, tall people Okay I’m gonna put this here to the side so that it’s not in my line of sight, ’cause I’d rather see you all So good evening Thank you very much for that wonderful invitation and introduction Thank you very much for having me tonight Yes, it has become a rather iconic photograph, the moment of the gaveling And I just realized as you said it that in that photograph, I’m wearing the same jacket (audience laughs) Maybe I should just keep it on forever you know, ’cause it truly was a good omen So really quite fun So you know when I got your invitation, I sort of, as you said, it’s a thorny issue, has been a thorny political issue for a long time What is the relationship between human rights and climate change? And I thought, okay wait a minute So it’s a thorny issue, A B, what do I know about it? I think they dialed the wrong phone number because here we are in the Law School at NYU and hosted by the center that specializes on human rights And I’m reminded that I’m completely out of depth here, reminded of the story, one of the fantastic stories about Einstein when after giving lecture number 139, his driver, who was one of his most faithful accompanists, finally said, “You know Professor Einstein, “I have gone with you to 139 lectures “I listen to you “I’ve listened attentively “I’ve listened so attentively that I can even “give your lecture now.” And Einstein said, “What a good idea “Why don’t we try that out?” So at the next lecture, Einstein puts on the little cap Einstein sits in the front row Driver comes up, delivers a perfect lecture, gets a standing ovation And then question and answer period comes and some questions he can handle And somebody says, “Excuse me, what is the relationship “between the theory of relativity “and the creation of the world?” And the driver quasi Einstein says, “Let me see “You know actually, that is such a stupid question “that even my driver can answer it.” (audience laughs) And calls upon his driver (mumbles).” So you know, that’s the situation that I’m in here because I am here among all of you who much more about human rights than I certainly do And I must say, in this case, Professor Einstein is Mary Robinson And I would really like to appreciate and honor Mary Robinson, who I call Mama Mary So you’re all welcome to call her Mama Mary too But you know, Mary Robinson has been just such an inspiration to so many of us, on this issue, on the issue of gender equality and on many, many other issues And the leadership that she displayed in the run up to Paris was really quite effective in moving this and other issues forward So thank you, Mama Mary, and anything that I know about human rights is due to her So in the question and answer period, if you ask me a stupid question, please forgive me

if I go to my cellphone and go, Mary, what do you think So, let me start by orienting you with my personal approach to this issue, which you may not share, and that’s fine, but it is my personal approach It does seem that the broader issue of climate justice within which we would locate the discussion of human rights and climate change The broader discussion on climate justice, which is about 20 years old, has evolved into what I would call two schools of thought On the one hand, there are those who have taken and continue to pursue, what I would call the punitive approach to climate justice and who seek sometimes, in fact quite effectively to look for, is that a note for me? Would you mind using the mic? The event is being recorded Okay, sorry So is this not going into the mic? (woman talking off mic) Okay, I’m sorry It’s just that you know, my preference is to see people and not just the mic Can we figure this out how we can both do the mic and see people? Oh, hold it, all right Is this any better? All right, okay So there are those who choose to approach this issue from punitive perspective Oh, that’s much better, yay, good And who have in fact quite effectively, not always, but sometimes quite effectively chosen judiciary structures to hold countries liable for climate justice or in fact corporations or whole sectors And that is probably I have to tell you, an approach that we have not seen the end to, and I do think that there will be more liability cases coming forward, in particular now that there is absolutely no question about the impact of climate change and no one out there has questioned the science anymore And so those who continue with what to some would be interpreted as irresponsible behavior, I can imagine that we will be seeing more and more liability cases That’s one end, one approach The other approach I would categorize as being a collaborative approach where the protection of human rights is certainly front and center, but that goes at this much more from what I personally think is a more constructive approach of not confronting but rather reaching out to what do we have in common and where can we collaborate to move things forward I have to tell you very frankly that my personal approach is the second and not the first, not that the first is wrong It certainly serves a very, very valuable purpose, but for me certainly because I have the responsibility of bringing 195 countries together to a unanimous agreement, I really made up my mind very early in this game that I would choose the collaborative approach, for two reasons actually One is because I frankly feel that it is a more promising way to bring climate change and human rights together because they have to be seen together But also because I think that it is a more promising advance on how to develop the new social and economic contract that is going to be the basis for the 21st century Because it is clear that the social and economic contract of the 20th century will not take us where we need to go So for both of those reasons, I come at this from one particular approach, and we can talk about the pros and cons about that later But I just wanted to be very frank with you as to how I see this Having said that, I think that we could agree, no matter which way you choose to look at this, which approach you choose, but I think we can agree that there is a macro level relationship between climate change and human rights And what do I mean by that?

I mean by that a very, very simple equation, and that is, more carbon equals more poverty Simplistic but pretty accurate, pretty accurate The more carbon we put up in the atmosphere, I should say, that equation should be more carbon in the atmosphere, not necessarily more carbon in the soil, which has a completely different effect But more carbon in the atmosphere means more poverty Why is that? Because the more that we load the atmosphere and we have already loaded 2/3 of what we can load, for the rest of the history of mankind, the more we continue to load, the more we know that we will have expanding areas around the world that are already being converted to, and will continue to be converted into wastelands, the higher health costs we’re going to have, the less food security we’re gonna have, the less water security, on, and on and on Everything that actually determines the very basis of human living So more carbon equals more poverty is a pretty, pretty clear equation Now, the fact is that that does not apply to energy because it is very clear that we need energy We need electricity, we need transportation, everything that energy provides us with, we need more of that in order to get those that are in extreme levels of poverty out of those unacceptable levels But we don’t need the fossil fuel that is currently attended to energy And that’s the difference We cannot equate energy with carbon In fact, if you want to bring the Paris Agreement, or in fact the entire Climate Change Convention to a very, very simplistic one sentence, it is the challenge to decouple growth, GDP from fossil fuels, because we have been on a trajectory now for years in which the curve on GDP has always meant the same curve in the same direction at the same speed as GHG, greenhouse gas emissions, and that is no longer acceptable That is exactly the delinking or the decoupling that the convention is all about and that the Paris Agreement promises So to decouple carbon from growth is actually the wedge that we need to put into this equation because if we don’t, what we would be talking about is increasing social and economic inequality around the world So I come back to the very, very clear equation, more carbon equals more poverty, as a macro relationship Interestingly enough, the reverse of that, the converse of that is not necessarily true I wish that we could say zero carbon equals zero poverty And I wish that that were true because I do think that we’re now for a change, on a very, very good trajectory of getting to what we call zero carbon, which is not completely zero, but it does mean peaking green house gas emissions by 2020 if not sooner and a net zero equation where by 2050 where we would not be emitting into the atmosphere anymore than we are naturally able to absorb That is the net zero carbon concept that is actually embedded into the Paris Agreement quite contrary to many people’s expectations Even one or two years ago they said, oh forget it You know, long-term goal, net zero, you’ll never get that in And through the very, very hard work of many, many people, in particular many women, it is really quite fantastic that we have that now inserted and embedded in the Paris Agreement So that’s the zero carbon Now could we argue that zero carbon or net zero carbon is equals zero poverty? Unfortunately not because poverty, or at least lifting and eradicating extreme poverty around the world depends not just on energy It is one of the major causes, but there are other factors that would have to be taken into consideration So if we were to take the first equation, more carbon equals more poverty and turn it around, the most that we could say is zero carbon equals less poverty, not zero poverty but certainly less poverty Which is not bad

That is not bad given the fact that we have full control over how much carbon we put into the atmosphere We have full control because we have policies at hand, because we have technologies of hand and because we have the capital that needs to respond to our decisions So we have full control over how much carbon we put up there And we know of course that coming to this zero net emissions balance is the only way that we have to eradicate poverty or at least make that possible, and the other relationship and then I will move on, but I do want to instill this relationship in us tonight The other very, very interesting equation here is that it is only through eradicating extreme poverty that we are able to provide at least that part of the population, the most vulnerable, with a fighting chance, a fighting chance against the negative impacts of climate change People that are in extreme poverty conditions, have no possibility to resist, be resilient, or in fact even survive in many cases, the negative impacts of climate change, zero So that is a situation that we cannot morally allow to continue into this 21st century and hence the macro-level relationship between climate change and human rights is very, very clear Could I then move on to, moving from the macro to the more individual human rights And I will not attempt, in this audience particularly, to go through the entire gamut of human rights, even all the economic, social, cultural But I will actually be guided tonight in my conversation with you by the sustainable development goals that were also just adopted by the United Nations just in September of last year, and that certainly reflect, perhaps not 100%, but certainly reflect to a great extent, what we understand to be basic human values And here as we go through, and I’m going to chose some of them, the most salient ones, and the ones that are most relevant to the climate change challenge I wanted to first point to the relationship between climate change and some of those SDGs and I’ll call them SDGs, sustainable development goals And here is what I would like to propose to you There has been a long discussion, academic, political, economic, social, cultural discussion about are the SDGs one thing and climate change another? Are they separated, are they separable, should they be separated? I am of the opinion that they are one in the same to a certain extent, to a certain extent I would argue that what climate does to the SDGs, at least all of those that are relevant to the discussion, is a two-fold impact Climate sets the direction in which we must pursue these SDGs first And secondly, it sets the pace Neither of that would be there with the SDGs were it not for the fact that we’re all now living in a completely changed climate, and that we will all be experiencing many more negative impacts It’s gonna get much worse before it gets better So let me go through that with you and exemplify what is perhaps a very generalized statement Let me take energy, which is one of the sustainable development goals Well, it’s very clear that if we didn’t have, let’s put climate change now to the side, the only priority on the SDG for energy would be to produce enough energy for everybody in the world That is actually already a huge goal However, when you overlay that with the fact that we’re living under climate change conditions, then it’s not just about providing everyone with energy It’s about changing the energy matrix to a clean energy matrix, and to provide 1.3 billion people who still immorally do not have access to energy, immorally,

providing them with clean energy, not with dirty energy And to be able to respond in particular to developing countries who are just coming at the cusp, or just at the cusp of their economic development spurt, providing them with clean energy on their grids So that is the overlay of the direction Yes, we have to provide energy, but it has to be clean energy Because otherwise we’re not attending to the climate urgency Another one, economic growth, another sustainable development goal Well, it’s very clear that we have to lift people out of poverty It’s very clear that we have to have more economic growth, in particular that that needs to be more inclusive That’s very clear But it’s also very clear, if you overlay with climate, ’cause otherwise we wouldn’t have the direction, it’s also very clear that that economic growth needs to be clean It can not be the same carbon intensity that we have had for the past hundred years And just to put it into numbers for you, the last analysis that I looked at says that for every unit of GDP that we will be producing in the near future, we’re gonna have to extract 10 to 15 times the carbon value out of every unit of GDP That means for every ton of carbon, we need to make it so much more effective, we need to eek out of every ton, of every gram of carbon that we’re going to emit, we need to eek out 10 to 15 times the GDP worth, the growth worth, the value, the true value for society out of every unit of carbon dioxide emissions That is a very different understanding to economic growth than what we had even 10 to 15 years ago My third example, another SDG is industrial innovation and infrastructure Well, without climate you can imagine that we’re talking about industrial innovation based on all of our new technology, on kind of having cutting edge technologies in every single sector, which we will have in an unprecedented pace But, with the climate overlay, there’s a very clear direction that wouldn’t be there without climate And the clear direction is, we need industrial innovation but in particular we need industrial innovation that is going to help us grow cleanly And that is the most urgent And all industrial innovation from now on should be looking at that goal How are we going to grow in a clean fashion without having the environmental impact that we have had? And infrastructure, part of that sustainable developmental goal, well guess what? That kind of infrastructure that was solid, solid, unmovable infrastructure, cannot continue to be built The infrastructure from now on needs to be resilient infrastructure, roads, buildings, electric distribution, all infrastructure, all fixed assets that we will be building from now on need to be resilient, why? Because of the negative impacts of climate No infrastructure in any country in the world is exempt from being impacted negatively by some natural event, extreme natural event So to the engineers, they have a major, a major task ahead to be able to produce infrastructure that is resilient and that is water efficient, energy efficient, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera So you know, the whole green architecture chapter there My fourth example, my fourth example, cities and communities, another SDG goal Well without climate, we would have perhaps more cities But with climate, we have to have more livable cities I’m talking about organic cities that are actually producing as much or almost as much food as they would need to consume Cities that are producing enough energy or as much as energy as they would need to consume Buildings that are not bringing in energy through these stupid 20th century wires that we have everywhere, even though they’re under the earth, but every building should actually be energy independent, or in fact, energy positive And we will get there We will get there actually quite, quite, quite quickly So a very different concept, and for urban planners, a very different concept of what it means to plan, build and regulate cities

with respect to their energy rules, with respect to transportation, completely different view of transportation now And if you want to enjoy a fantastic view of what transportation’s gonna look like, I very much recommend that you take a look at what Mary Barra, the CEO of General Motors just said a few days ago coming out of Davos, her vision of what mobility is going to be in just the next five to 10 years, completely revolutionized from where we are And my final example here for you of the SDGs and the direction that is being overlayed on the SDGs because of climate, is of course consumption and production, which is perhaps just the summary of all of the above because we cannot continue to consume more than we produce We have gone way beyond planetary boundaries As you’ve all heard, we actually will be needing two planets if we continue with the consumption levels and with the carbon intensity of consumption levels that we have And production is gonna have to get much more resilient We’re gonna have to develop water, or drought-resistant agriculture We’re gonna have to develop very, very different types of production, in particular in the food sector So very different, a very clear direction being overlayed and being imposed if you will, superimposed on the SDGs because of climate change that wasn’t there before Now all of this is about the direction But then there are some SDG goals that yes, they have the direction, but they have the other factor that I warned you about I told you speed and pace And let me just say, the pace with which we successfully undertake all of the above, dramatically changing our cities, dramatically changing our energy structure, dramatically changing how we grow, how we innovate, what kind of infrastructure we do, and how we consume and produce, the pace with which we do that will determine whether we’re able to address climate change That is the ticking clock in climate change Climate change is also one of the SDG goals It’s number 13 But it is the only SDG, the only one that has an in built physical time bomb All of the others, if you take morality and human rights away and put them in some box, which we don’t, but if you did, mental exercise here, all of the others could in theory move along quite happily at some pace And we would all be happy when the world is less poor and when everybody has more water, and when everybody has more food, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera There is no deterministic timing to those SDG goals There is a timing within climate change If we’re not able to get to global peaking, that means the highest point of all greenhouse gas emissions globally, all countries together by 2020 and then descend very quickly, to the point where we’re at net zero by 2050, the effects on the planet, the physical impacts on this planet are such that we may not be able to even manage them let alone rescue the most vulnerable out of a misery that is frankly untenable and even undescribable So it is not just the direction that climate gives to these SDGs, our proxy tonight for human rights It is also the speed We’re on a five-year track here By 2020 we must be able to stand up and say, we actually have turned the corner And if we don’t, if we don’t, we will, all of us living here, will have to respond to our children that we actually knew what we were doing, because we all do, and we chose not to stand up to our responsibility That would be a terrible scenario that none of us would ever want to face And you can imagine that if we’re not able to do that, the effects on poverty, on inequality, on disruption, on food, on water, on territory,

on forced immigration, forced migration, would be so terrible that we would never be able to reach peace And so if you will, all of this summarized is for me, that the Climate Change Convention, including its now, soon-to-be legally binding Paris Agreement, yes is a convention on climate change But it is fundamentally a convention of human rights and it is a convention of peace Because all of that belongs together And no one should ever separate that, thanks (audience applauds) Do you want me to do questions here or there? (laughs) – We can get your driver to come in if you like – Yes – Where do you want it? Do you wanna stand there or sit? – That’s okay, why don’t I sit down But I’ll take the microphone because otherwise I’ll get scolded again (laughing) – Is that, yeah, that is working Okay so I would ask those with questions to keep it reasonably concise, not to make a statement And perhaps we’ll take three questions at a time and then a chance to respond, so please – [Albert] Hi, good evening Thank you so much for being here with us and sharing your thoughts and wisdom with us My name’s Albert Carcher I am currently working with the CDP, the Carbon Disclosure Project And so we work closely with cities on climate change So that point is particularly interesting for me But personally something I’m very interested in is mindfulness and also the idea of kind of interconnection with ecology and kind of our responsibility as you said, kind of a moral responsibility to act And so when we look at the issue of climate change and human rights, I mean, they’re so closely linked And one of the challenges I find is kind of what do we do today? So it would be wonderful if you could speak to how each of us can kind of act in our daily lives to start taking steps, thanks – [Lisa] My name is Lisa DiCaprio I’m a Professor of Social Sciences at NYU I’m also involved in the campaign for divesting fossil fuels from the New York City pension funds, the New York State pension fund, and also NYU divest And you had mentioned that we need to keep 2/3 of fossil fuels in the ground You’ve also appealed to institutional investors to invest a certain percentage of their funds in green infrastructure and clean technologies and I wonder if you could expand on that point – [Steven] Hi, my name is Steven Mance I’m an environmental organizer with the coffee party I just wanted to respectfully express one perhaps objection or constructive criticism to your speech You gave a very eloquent overview of the whole issue of climate change, but I don’t feel that much more enlightened only ’cause I feel like you didn’t really touch upon any of the specifics Like China is saying it emits this much They just finally met that much India says they need growth and objecting to us having standards that America won’t adhere to, didn’t adhere to during its own growth America is slowly waking up ’cause we have extreme weather So I mean the UN is presenting itself as the arbiter of the world’s response to climate change I applaud that 1,000% But if we’re gonna serious about climate change, when the UN comes to us, and I consider us to be your constituents, we need to hear what you’re doing We need to hear what you’re working on, and what we need to work on I didn’t hear you mention India, China I didn’t hear you mention West Europe We need to know who’s the worst offenders, what we need to do, and we need to know what you, our elected and appointed representatives are doing about the specific problems, about the multinational corporations, about the developing world that has legitimate grievances but also needs to control the emissions So I respect, I do applaud you for coming here and I’m very grateful However I have to express this respectfully and again, I’m your constituent That’s the context which I’m saying it So I appreciate that And I hope you can address that, thank you (audience applauds) – Okay, perhaps will then give Ms. Figueres an opportunity to respond to those questions Is that okay, before we take some more – So let me take that fantastic question first

Thanks very much So you know the fact is that I could stand here for about 50 hours and go through the Paris Agreement Or in fact, go through 20 years of climate negotiations But I don’t think that was the invitation that I had tonight But I’m happy to give you a quick summary There has been a long-standing discussion, as you can imagine, between, and here’s a way over simplified summary, a standing discussion between developing countries, of which I am one I come from Costa Rica, so I’m a developing country representative, between developing countries and industrialized countries about responsibility We call it in the climate lingo, we call it common but differentiated responsibilities because there are common responsibilities that we all share, but it’s very, very clear that there is a historical difference here Nobody denies, and it’s not even you know, it’s not ideology, it’s just simple physics Nobody denies that industrialized countries, this one in particular, is historically much more responsible for the concentrations of greenhouse gasses that we have in the air than anybody else So that is not questioned It was questioned for a long time, I have to tell you And it took a long time for countries to be able to come to the point where they said okay, we accept historical responsibility and it is not going to stop us from getting together in a collaborative fashion to look for solutions for the future Because if you allow the past to keep you frozen in the past, you will never be able to find a solution for the future So one of the many miracles of the Paris Agreement is that countries were very, very clear about honoring historical responsibility and at the same time, being willing to move into a much more solution-oriented space in collaboration with each other The developing countries that you mentioned, China, absolute star, absolute leader We would have a different world, certainly on climate change, if everybody were putting forth the kinds of policies that China’s putting forward India, having a much more difficult time, why? Because India is about 10 to 15 years behind China in development and hence has a much, much more difficult time with the decoupling of greenhouse gasses from GDP Having said that, you need to know that only was the Paris Agreement adopted unanimously by 195 countries, in addition to that, we in the secretariat have received 188 national climate change plans from 188 countries representing 95% of the countries, 85% of greenhouse gas emissions because they wanted to Because they came to the conclusion that it was actually in their interest to address climate change In their interest, that is a huge, huge movement away from where we were just five, four years ago where there was a blaming going on And yes, there’s responsibility But we now have agreed that everybody will take on some responsibility, differentiated responsibility, into the future I could go on for 1,000 years about the intricacies of the Paris Agreement But if your question about the dynamic between developed and developing countries, I don’t think it’s solved, but certainly we do have a very, very good step forward on that On the divest and invest Another movement that has been incredibly helpful because this really is about shifting capital, whatever capital, wherever capital goes over the next five years is going to determine the quality of the energy system You know, I’m gonna stand up ’cause I can’t see you Wherever capital is invested over the next five years is going to determine the quality of the energy system, global energy system over the next 25 years And that will determine the quality of life on this planet for the next hundreds of years So very, very important where this capital goes And thank you for working on that movement And the fantastic news there is that by the time we went to Paris, the divest movement had actually already mobilized and moved from the very humble beginnings of millions of dollars to $3.4 trillion, $3.4 trillion that are coming from institutional investors,

wealthy individuals and some other institutions because they have understood that they cannot continue to put that capital into hydrocarbon in particular, high carbon hydrocarbons, which are severely at risk and if any of you know the literature on stranded acids, you will understand that argument So very, very important and huge contribution And I just come back to it right now from a long day of discussions at the United Nations in something called the Investor Summit where the investors of the world representing almost $23 trillion came together for one day to discuss how are they going to move that forward and be able to shift the capital on time So yes, thank you to everybody who’s working on that And the job is not done We have started and we have to continue too And on mindfulness, thank you very much for that question also I happen to be a student of Tigna Tan, and so mindfulness is very important to me and has honestly been what kept me alive for six years I cannot begin to explain to you the pressure that we’ve been under where we have been holding the full responsibility of this negotiation knowing that we were already late, knowing that we should have come to this global agreement five or 10 years ago, knowing that we’re trying to catch up, following Copenhagen, which I call the most successful disaster of the United Nations, but from which we learned a lot And holding that responsibility and not have any direct authority over it That’s a pretty amazing situation to be in Because each of these governments are absolutely sovereign And they can decide whatever they want to decide So without any disrespect to these governments, but to bring them all together over a six-year period to where they were willing to work with each other, to listen to each other, and to come to a very clear decision that the blame game is not gonna take them forward, and that they need to collaborate That’s a pretty daunting task And mindfulness and the teachings of Tigna Tan really kept me going To your question about what can we as individuals do, well first of all we can be mindful about every single thing that we do during the day, every single thing There is nothing, I guarantee you, there is nothing that you do, including sleep, that is not somehow related to energy use, in particular in this kind of a country It is not true for some developing countries But in this country, and in all industrialized countries, everything that you do, everything that you do, every step you take, every morsel you eat, every widget get into your hand, every transportation that you do, everything is somehow related to energy So figure that out Be much more aware of the fact that we’re irresponsibly using energy, and we’re irresponsibly using the kind of energy that we’re using And we can change all that You can change your energy use You can vote with your wallet You can vote with your vote And you can get the kind of political leadership that we have now finally seen in this country and what we should see everywhere else So certainly with our personal, with our personal footprint and with our power as consumers and as citizens – [Audience Member] Thank you for bringing 195 countries to sign this agreement Thank you so much (audience applauding) This is truly a turning point for the climate and for our planet, and I thank you I was in Rio Plus 20, Lima I helped work on the SDGs this summer and I must say that this was, Paris was one of the most exciting events I’ve ever been to in terms of learning, the enthusiasm from the mayors, from CEOs, from grassroots It was just so stimulating, and I felt that all of those sectors, government and all those that I’ve mentioned, came together in a very positive, meaningful way And I’m uplifted by the strength of the global grassroots movement And I have two questions One, innovation and how we share this with one another For example I was recently at an architectural event and we could, I asked this question, could we have a new building that was a micro grid? And they said yes – That was a? – [Audience Member] Micro grid

In other words the building itself supplies its energy There’s nothing going in, nothing coming out, to your point that we have to be able to sustain our food and our energy So when these developments come along, how best can we communicate them with one another so that we can move at the pace that’s necessary to accomplish our goals, reach that five years, give the earth a chance to take a breath and recoup her ability to absorb carbon And my second question is how do you suggest that the global grassroots movement can have the most impact in helping this process along, thank you – [Rick] I’m Rick Klugston I’m with the Center for Earth Ethics at Union Theological Seminary And I too feel that these two large UN events, the adoption of Agenda 2030 and the Paris Climate Agreement were really profoundly transformative moments And I too congratulate you and the co-facilitators of the SDG process Remarkable leadership I have two questions We just, the SDGs, the targets are set The 17 targets are set, the 169, I mean the goals are set, the 169 targets are set But now we need indicators And the expert group has released a draft of the indicators, and the UN Statistical Commission will release the almost final draft in March Looking through the initial draft at the indicators, it’s rather sobering, frightening for me that so few of them actually embraced that direction that you’re talking about Very few really talk about sustainability Most of ’em are still within that old paradigm, business as usual And so I’m wondering how you and how people that are involved in trying to really create this new context, can weigh in on the indicators? So that’s question one And the second one really is it looks like if all 188 countries actually met their individually-determined goals for carbon reduction, we’d still be up at about 2.7 degrees Celsius And so if 1.5 degree would be great, even two would be, but how do we, because not all 188 are gonna fully implement what they’ve committed to I mean, that’s highly unlikely But even if they did, we’d still be only halfway, roughly halfway to where we wanna get So I’m curious about how you’re thinking of strategizing and moving over the next five years to get to that peak moment, thank you – [Alyssa] Hi, Christiana My name is Alyssa Jolm from the Center for International Environmental Law, and I’ve been following the process and your work for quite some time So thank you for the tremendous effort that you and many others have made, and for this incredible accomplishment I wanted to sort of bring us back to the issue that we are here to discuss, human rights and climate change, and that’s really the focus of my work and the way that I engage in the UN (mumbles) process And as I’m sure you’re well aware, there was this unprecedented civil society coalition that came together across constituency coalition, women and gender, indigenous people’s groups, environmental groups, the climate justice groups, trade unions I mean this really was unprecedented There’s not much that all these groups can agree on, but they did find a common ground in human rights So there was this strong and powerful push for human rights to be included in the operative text and as Professor Austin mentioned, this was not the outcome that we achieved We ended up with a reference, a strong reference in the preamble, but not in the operative text And I was wondering if you could share any insider perspectives you have on what happened in those final days I mean we did have a reference in I believe the second-to-last draft text that was released on Thursday, on Human Rights Day, was the draft in which it was deleted So I wanted to ask if you could share some perspectives on that, thank you – Should we take those questions? So first of all yes, I fully agree that this was absolutely unprecedented, coming together of all stakeholder groups, you know left, right, top, bottom, I mean there was not a constituency that was not mobilized And I was truly, deeply, deeply grateful for that

Why did we end up with human rights in the preamble and not in the operative paragraphs? I don’t think it is a secret to you who follow human rights, that there just isn’t complete, universal agreement about human rights and how they should be interpreted, or how they should be practiced And I think it was quite a difficult situation there where we clearly had the majority of countries who could have gone with that But this agreement could not be adopted by the majority of countries It needed to be adopted universally It needed to be adopted unanimously And for that reason, some issues were, had to be put into the preamble because otherwise there would have been a danger of losing the entire community And a decision was made, better to have it at least there, and this doesn’t apply only to human rights There are several other issues in that category Let’s have it there because we certainly didn’t wanna let it go But it would have been able to go forward in the operative paragraphs I don’t see that as the final situation I’m ever hopeful and ever positive, and now that we have that and we have actually quite an ambitious list there, not just human rights, but a listing of specific sub issues on human rights I’m very hopeful that future legal documents under the Climate Change Convention will be able to take that forward as the world matures in its understanding of that But it was because of the need for unanimity On the INDC, sorry I’m going from the top to the bottom And the INDC’s the intended nationally-determined contributions As I mentioned before, there are 188 of them and each of them come from the strength of the analysis that each country has made as to the reality, their political, technical, financial and regulatory reality, and how can they contribute We were the ones in fact who did that assessment to aggregate all of those plans and came up with this 2.7 degrees in coordination with UNIP And so we are the first ones to be very, very clear about the fact that all of these intentions, or all these climate change plans are fundamental and key but are not enough Close but no cigar, right? They are a very, very important first step, but they are not enough They do take us off the trajectory where we were, going toward a global warming by the end of this century of four to five degrees, by some estimates six degrees So we’re off of that track, thank heavens And we’re no on to a trajectory of 2.7 So there is definitely a very important dent that has been made by those plans, assuming that they’re fully implemented But it is not enough to keep us well below two degrees as the Paris Agreement says or to pursue our efforts at 1.5 So what was done about that is to recognize that transforming, in particular the energy, but also the land use management, the energy system of the world, is not something that you do by the stroke of a pen, and certainly not at one conference, even if it last two tortuous weeks So that it was understood that this has got to be a multi-decadal process It took us 150 years to get to this mess Well, it’s gonna take us a few decades to get out of it And the Paris Agreement therefore very different to any other legal instrument under the convention, the (mumbles) for example, does not establish just a finite number of years and a finite target It actually is meant to be a multi decadal process that doesn’t have an end date, that actually has what we call a ratcheting up mechanism whereby countries will come together around the table again every five years to assess where they are in their transformation, and then be able to bring higher efforts to the table So if you will, from management, if any of you are management students, continuous improvement is a very important principle in management And the same principle is being inserted here, has been inserted into the Paris Agreement where this is a process of continuous improvement So every five years we will be seeing the tightening of targets and that will devolve into the tightening or regulation buttressed by the evolution of technology, the shift of capital and the continual development of regulation at the national level

So it will take us a while to get there, but the intent is to come to well below two degrees and hopefully 1.5 Do I think that we’re gonna make it? Yes, I do Yes, I do because everything that we have ever done, I have incredible hope and trust in technology And everything that we’ve ever done in technology, we’ve actually been able to surpass whatever we thought You know, when computers were first put on the market, you know, personal computers, the estimate was, ah, we’ll never have more than one million computers Well, same thing with cellphones We have over comply, overstretched anything on technology that we thought was going to be possible And I think we’re gonna be doing the same thing here And finally, oh no, two more questions SDGs and what to do about the indicators Yes, fully agree with that, and it is one of our huge concerns And you know, despite the fact that I have huge respect for the principles and the operation of the institution that I serve, of the United Nations, I must say, in its infinite wisdom, the United Nations committed the mistake many years ago, its member states committed many years ago, the mistake of separating these two things And they separated development from climate change, for very understandable reasons, very understandable reasons and if I had been there at that point, I probably would have done exactly the same thing And the negotiations of the SDGs went on one track, which I would call an aspirational track because it’s not legally binding, and the climate change convention is a legally-binding treaty, and had to negotiate a legally-binding instrument under that treaty So it’s understandable that we had two different tracks Now however when we get to implement these two tracks, need to converge again And I am deeply grateful that the secretary general has actually named Dr. David Navarro to bring these two tracks together And I’m actually working with him to see what are we gonna do about that Because those indicators need to incorporate the sustainability because otherwise we’re just not gonna get them It is just suicidal to pursue those SDGs without their sustainability because they just will never be accomplished as I’ve discussed with you at the beginning of this conversation But a work in progress, very much of a work in progress And finally, what we can do to communicate innovation Well you know, fortunately we live in a world, a universe of just the most incredible communication skills and potentials, and I have no doubt that everything that is invented, I mean you all know what Tesla is doing You all know what GM is doing And the path is, if you follow any of the social media over all of them, in which case you wouldn’t have time to do anything else in your lives, but if you follow any of the social media, then you’re up to date with innovations and what’s happening, and that’s a good thing And that’s a good thing The more complicated thing is not just understanding what innovation is doing for us, but actually making that technological innovation accessible to developing countries That is the big challenge How do you make those innovations, because typically when you have an innovation, it typically comes at the market at the highest end of the cost curve, very, very expensive, and it doesn’t come down until you have a certain critical mass volume that actually helps to bring costs down Typical example, solar panels now being distributed massively throughout the world, and hence their cost has come down also dramatically But that’s the kind of thing that we need to see in all other sectors And to what the grass movement can do? Stick together It took us so many years to come together and to agree that yes, we all approach this from a different point of view, but we have one common goal, one common goal, and that is to get to climate neutrality, to get to climate stability if you will, to recapture our climate stability for the most vulnerable who are alive today, and for everyone who will be coming after today So stick together It’s not just you know, everybody coming together for Paris was fantastic But we need to be able to maintain that unity of purpose – [Catarina] Hello, my name is Catarina Val I work for Human Rights watch, and I’ve been following the UNFCCC negotiations, and I think you just gave the perfect transition to my question, which is basically now that we have this recognition

of human rights in the preamble, and we also have all the countries that are parties to the UNFCCC and to the new Paris Agreement that already all of them are parties to human rights treaties I think that’s also very important that it’s not a new obligation here And now my question is, what do we do with this now? So how do we implement these obligations in the context of climate change policies, and what do you think needs to happen for this, and I think specifically for you, the question is what do you think, what contribution can the secretariat make to these discussions? How do you think we can move on with this important piece of the success I think of climate change policy? – Can you be more specific? How can we move on with what? – [Catarina] Well I’m wondering now that we have, yeah, now that we have recognition in the Paris Agreement, what do you think can happen and what kind of contribution do you see at the global negotiations, what we’ve seen with the gender discussions for example, that have been more prominent over the past couple of years, where I think the discussions have moved on And I’m wondering what do you think is the contribution that the secretariat can make, and then of course also if you have time, also the countries and the businesses to this discussion, thank you – [Noam] Hi, my name is Noam I’m in strategic communications I was really interested in the beginning how you framed and began the discussion of climate change with talk about connecting with poverty, more carbon in the atmosphere equals more poverty And I was wondering what the thinking was in creating that or in framing the discussion of climate change that way Certainly one of the difficulties with climate change or solving climate change is in how you talk about it and how you tell people about it and get people to change And so the way I think about it, on a daily basis, is climate change poses a threat to the human race I mean, why not frame it as climate change poses a risk and threatens the very existence of humanity? Certainly from a legal perspective as well, it seems like it would make sense I’m not a law student, but according to John Locke and the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article Three is right to life comes first And so I just wonder what the framing of the environmentalism or the climate change, what went into that, thank you – [David] Good evening, thank you for being here and thank you for your work My name’s David Cantor I’m a professor in the Department of Environmental Studies I have to admit, my question isn’t as profound as the ones that have gone before me I’m more interested in a little gossip actually – Do professors always ask for gossip? (laughing) – [David] They do, but never at a microphone (laughing) I would love, and I hope I’m not alone in this, but I would just love to hear your take on Paris as just a person in that maelstrom of craziness, what it was like And if you can just share a couple of anecdotes or stories with us about your experience there, because it was such a momentous occasion, thanks – [Mariam] So it was three questions, should I just ask mine now as well? – Sure – [Mariam] Okay, so my name is Mariam Eldaba I’m an LMN here in environmental and energy law, and I come from Saudi Arabia, which has an interesting relationship with both climate change and human rights (laughing) – And women – [Mariam] Exactly, yes, absolutely So my question arose from one of the lines in your talk which was that the socioeconomic contract of the 21st century is not gonna take us where we need to go So some or many would argue that included among that, you know everything that that means is the structure of our entire global economic system And I was really happy to hear you mentioning sustainable consumption as well, because that’s something that is often just swept under the rug and ignored And including with that, it’s just that a lot of developing countries don’t have a model for how they’re going to cleanly, this concept of clean growth And so all of these issues that are interconnected, it seems so first of all, multinational corporations are not gonna like this because it threatens their essential, you know the business model that they’ve been going on And sustainable consumption isn’t just gonna be brought about by like the individual actions

that we all take Shorter showers is not going to save the planet So basically my question is – It will save you some friendships (laughing) – [Mariam] So basically, this is my question If we’re not going to confront these entrenched powers and we’re not going to ask the tough questions, and we’re not gonna examine you know, how is infinite growth possible in a finite planet? If we’re not gonna ask ourselves all of these, how can we hope to resolve this enormous, enormous problem? Because I feel like a lot of the times it’s just glossed over, and it’s like okay, this is what we have to do, but what’s gonna get us there? Is everyone here gonna agree on changing their lifestyle and cutting consumption? Is industry going to? You know, Ikea said just recently, we’ve reached peak stuff in the developed world So how are the realities, and you still have corporations aiming for, we’re gonna grow the next quarter We’re gonna keep on growing So anyway, sorry if I started rambling, but it’s a really complex topic, and I would really appreciate like a transparent confrontational answer that really addresses these issues, respectfully, and thank you so much (audience laughs and claps) – Respectfully confrontational. (laughs) So thanks for all of that So next steps on human rights and in the negotiations Well I guess a two-part answer to that We don’t expect that there’s going to be another legally binding document, we hope not, negotiated in quite a few years, because the whole intent of the Paris Agreement is to be a multi-decadal framework, legally-binding framework for countries So if your interest is in text, now we will be moving to what we call the rule book, which is how, what are the rules going to be for the implementation and the achievement of the Paris Agreement And there’s certainly space there as we move into implementation There certainly is a lot of space to make sure that all of that implementation will be, according to the all of the aspirations of the preamble, which is quite a thick set there of aspirations So that’s one part into the text, and I know that in this audience, those legal texts are very important And, and my sense is that while the legal text certainly guide us, it is only the implementation on the ground, where the rubber hits the ground, that we actually know, all right, is this actually being implemented Is this actually being turned into reality or is it a legal text that we could just put on any shelf and therefore, that’s why I went through those SDGs with you Because the way in which we attack those, the way in which we achieve them, is going to determine whether we’re being respectful with the ultimate human right, which is life, and I totally agree with that because of the reasoning that I gave you before So I think both on the practical side, as well as on the legal side of legal writings, there is still a lot to be done, but not just on climate change I think we can agree that the world still has not matured universally on its understanding of human rights, and that still is a work in progress that we all need to work on Why did I start by saying no carbon or less carbon, less poverty? Because of the following I completely agree that climate change is probably or for sure, certainly in this century, the greatest threat that we’ve ever had to the existence of humanity, completely agree And at the same time, I think that we can agree that industrialized countries have much more of a possibility to defend lives in their countries than developing countries It’s just not a level playing field It is just not a level playing field Let’s just go to Sandy This fantastic city recovered from Sandy very quickly, very quickly because this country can do that and has that luxury

Now you go and you have a storm like Sandy on any of the pacific islands, which they do, and that wipes out, it wipes out their entire infrastructure on the entire island It wipes out their entire GDP growth for one year in a storm of 24 hours It’s a very different situation Very, very different conditions So the capacity to respond, the financial capacity, the technical capacity, the institutional capacity is very different in developing countries than it is in industrialized countries And that is fundamental that we understand that That is one of the embedded, most deeply felt unfairnesses, is that a word in English, unfairnesses, of climate change because those are the countries that are least responsible for it And those are the countries that are suffering the most And the vulnerable populations in those countries suffer the most squared And they are absolutely exempt of any responsibility in the past, in the present and probably in the future So those that are most exempt, past, present and future, are the ones that are most impacted Those are the ones under the line of extreme poverty And that is why I started by saying more carbon, more poverty, because of the difference in capacity to respond by different sectors of our society No model, no we really don’t have a model And that’s why this was so difficult because we’re actually asking developing countries in the Paris Agreement to go ahead and continue to provide or increase their provision of well-being in all of its ramifications, continue to provide that for their citizens and increase their well-being And by the way, don’t do it the way we did it, because we’ve been doing it for 150 years and we now realize that that was not a very good idea, to do it with a high-carbon intensity So then they turn around and they go, well, so show me who has done it right? Well, you don’t really have those models And so we’re asking developing countries to do something that is completely unknown territory Completely unknown And that’s one of the reasons why this was so difficult, so difficult, because there are no models to go forward And because developing countries have very different reality And to take your Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, but all of the other Gulf countries, you have to understand, these countries went from abject poverty to unimaginable wealth in a few decades because they discovered hydrocarbon Because they discovered that they had oil and gas And now the world is turning to them and saying, by the way, that which is your only source of income, only source of income, we don’t like that anymore You’re gonna have to change It’s a huge message for those countries Now fortunately they have realized themselves that they are actually benefited by participating with all of the rest of the countries to arrest climate change because they happen to live in a very, very hot area of the world It is already hot in the Gulf And it’s going to become even hotter And even they will not be able to provide air conditioning to everybody who needs it because they will be having heat waves that are actually beyond human capacity to withstand if climate goes to the extent that we know that it could go in theory So I must say I really very much appreciate the effort that is being made by these hydrocarbon, by these fossil fuel-exporting countries, particularly those in the Gulf that have no other income currently to diversify their economy, to begin to understand that they want to continue to be energy exporters and energy providers, but that that does not necessarily mean that they are going to be fossil fuel energy providers, that there are other options for them And the investment that is going into renewable energy, particularly in Saudi Arabia, is really quite remarkable So I think I’m giving you a flavor of the kind of transformation that every country has gone through, to understand what are the impacts for them, which are very, very different, the impact on Saudi Arabia is completely different from the impact on Tuvalu But each of them has understood that they are better served by a collaborative approach, because they know none of them can solve climate change individually It just doesn’t make sense Either we all solve it together or we all don’t solve it together

And for them to have come forward after so many years of discussing and trying to understand this and say okay, we understand We’re better off collaborating with each other and understanding our differences, respecting our differences, respecting our past, but joining hands as we go into the future and not forcing everybody, anybody, into a future that is exactly the same as anybody else I tend to think in pictures and so if you will, Paris, the Paris Agreement, what it does is it builds a very broad highway with many, many different lanes And it says to every country, you take the lane that you want You wanna take the slow lane, you wanna take the fast lane, everybody can take, because Tuvalu can’t do the same thing that the United States can do In fact, Ecuador cannot do the same thing that China is doing Very, very different realities in each of their countries So the fact that you have different speeds of engagement, different lanes if you will around this highway, and different vehicles of engagement, each one of those INDCs, each one of those climate change plans denotes a very, very different choice, unique choice of policies and measures that they’re going to be enacting, a very difficult, a very different vehicle of engagement for each of them And yet, all moving in the same direction Hence my analogy of the highway Everybody moving in the same direction because they know that they have to, that it’s better for them, and that it’s better that we do it together So yes, and to your comment about multinationals Well, I think you gave yourself the answer The fact that Steve Howard was the one from EKL who said we’ve peaked on stuff Well if that is not a statement from a multinational corporation, a corporation that sells, as he describes it, stuff And so he stands up in public and he says, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa I represent Ikea, multinational corporation and I want to admit that in industrialized countries we have peaked on stuff, or we should peak on the stuff that we buy True leadership on the part of Steve Howard and Ikea and many other multinationals, you know it’s very simple to just take multinational corporations and stick them into a box and say, ah, they’re all evil Or in fact, it’s very simple to take whatever lens you use and take a group of countries and say, ah, they’re all evil That’s very simple But I’m gonna tell you, that’s not the way we’re gonna solve this Every single multinational corporation has to take a step forward Every country has to take a step forward And that’s what we saw in Paris If there is something absolutely remarkable, unprecedented, historical, is that everybody accepted their responsibility in Paris, whether they were a company, a corporation, an industrial corporation, a manufacturing company, an insurance company, a bank, all of these civil society, everybody stood up in Paris and said, we got it Finally, we got Every one of us has some degree of responsibility That does not mean that every, single company of the world, no But you do have a growing number of companies that really understood this And all social change occurs like that You never have everybody come forward at the same time That just doesn’t occur That’s not the way human nature happens You have always pioneers that lead the way, and then you have a few pioneers that lead the way And then you have a huge wave that comes right behind them And you will always have some in the back who do not want to move forward But it doesn’t matter That doesn’t stop the world from moving forward So I’m deeply gratefully actually for every single country that took a step forward, for every corporation, for every sector that has demonstrated their way to accept their responsibility And be able to benefit from it Well, you can imagine on gossip of Paris That’s something that we should probably do with a glass of wine But here’s what I would like to say about that This was my sixth conference of the party’s COP that I’ve had the honor to direct And here is what was very different from the first five In the first five that took us from 2010 right after Copenhagen, I assumed the responsibility right after Copenhagen, 2010 to 2015, or ’14 rather, I was never 100% sure that we would get to the point, because as an exercise the secretariat

always figures out after each COP what is the next step that we need to guide countries or encourage countries to say, at the next COP And I was never really sure whether we would be able to get to that over the first five COPs We did because all the stars aligned and because there was a lot of support from outside But I was never 100% sure In fact, in every single COP, the last three days are a completely sleepless, forget about sleep I usually forget about food because it runs out and maybe that’s why we come to agreements because lack of, sort of a modern way of diplomatic torture I guess You know, you can’t sleep, you can’t eat so just agree so we can all go home That’s one way of doing it But we always were able to get to where we needed to after a lot of very hard work But truly with the feeling that we were squeezing through a very, very narrow, you know, threading the needle very, very narrowly We just barely made it in, oh, huge relief, huge relief, barely made it in Completely different in Paris In Paris, by the time, in fact by the beginning of last year, January of 2015, I already knew that we would get an agreement And I was very, very public about that I know that we’re gonna get an agreement because there was that much political will There was that much support from civil society, from corporations, from the banking side, from everybody that I knew that we didn’t have an option but to get an agreement And then my battle started to be, let’s get not just an agreement, because I don’t want just a photo opportunity Let’s get an agreement that is actually worth our effort Let’s get an agreement that is actually gonna make a change, that is actually gonna make an impact on the trajectory of the missions and on the quality of life on this planet And that’s when we started our last battle And you know what? By about September or October, I actually knew that we were gonna get that ambitious agreement That’s an amazing thing And the last three days, that are always sleepless and foodless, there were 100,000 things that went wrong I can’t even begin to tell you how many things went wrong And yet I never got butterflies in my stomach, which I usually do Because I knew that the force for good, that the tsunami of actually healing this process was much stronger than all of the things that were going wrong And we had to, you know, this monster raises its hand Okay, let’s deal with that one That monster, okay, let’s deal with that one To the last minute I don’t know how many of you saw this on television, but even when this thing was gonna be adopted and everybody was in the room, and it took us an hour and a half to finally gavel this thing, why? Because we had three emergencies in the room Most people didn’t even notice We we’re all (clicking) running around trying to figure out, okay what (clicking) and solving those three last dramatic events there Because we knew that we had to take this on unanimously But I knew the whole time that we were gonna get to an agreement because humanity has risen to this challenge If there’s one message that I would invite you to take away tonight is there is a lot that is happening in this world that we can be concerned about, that we can be sad about, that we can be angry about, that we can be cynical about, no absence of that And the fact that we have this agreement of not just 195 countries, but everybody, the whole context with them, should be a reason for hope It’s not the final solution It is not perfect, but it sure is ambitious and it sure points the way into a completely different way of working with each other So there’s reason for hope, and those of you who are younger than 59, which I am, which is most of you, please do take a message here of hope, of optimism and frankly of love, interpreted not as love for those of you who you know, your family, your spouse, your kids, your grandparents, but love for humanity Because ultimately that is what we had Thank you (audience applauding) – Many, many thanks I think that was an inspiring presentation,

one that also paints very clearly the role of the United Nations at its best, not able effectively to be confrontational, not able to force governments to do what they don’t want, but able to shepherd them, able to cajole them and finally to get what obviously is a historic agreement I want to make one point, and I hope it’s not unfair doing it at the end, which is your comment that human rights had to be in the preamble rather than in the substance because there is a lack of agreement, I think needs to be unpacked in a way because there is agreement on human rights There is more agreement on human rights than there is on climate change in formal terms Every country in the world has ratified a whole range of human rights treaties None of them get up and say, we don’t believe in this stuff They all say the exact opposite Perhaps in stronger terms than they do about climate change The problem, and we have to recognize that, is political, that states go in and they say it’s not in my political interests I might be sued if I put human rights in here Or I might get those stupid women thinking that there really is gender equality and that they will do something domestically So I think we need to distinguish between the politics of it and the form Anyway, on that note I wanna thank you all for coming I think this is an extraordinarily important event We in the human rights community very much hope that there will be forward movement despite the interests of a number of key states, in emphasizing the human rights aspect, which I think blends absolutely perfectly with your closing words, that it’s love for humanity, it’s solidarity, and that’s where the rights dimension of climate change comes in But thank you so, so much for all you’ve done and for here tonight (audience applauding)