For effective, efficient, equitable carbon pricing:
- Price pollution with a defined, steadily rising price on climate-disrupting emissions, preferably at the source.
- Add momentum. Enhance incomes; build economic value at the human scale.
- Reduce emissions effectively and accountably, by keeping the administrative structure simple and transparent.
- Internalize inefficiencies — cost and harm linked to polluting business models — incrementally, with escalating certainty and with no leakage.
- Spread by aligning price signals and supporting policies, harmonizing across borders, so pricing can be enacted country by country.
The PARIS Principles were introduced in September 2014, with the launch of the Pathway to Paris project. They were offered as guidance to the research process that led to the creation of the FASTER Principles, and continued to serve as the guiding context for engagement of the Carbon Pricing Workstream of the Citizens’ Climate Engagement Network, during and after the COP21 in Paris.
In support of the new ParisProgress.net effort and as the virtue of household dividends has become more apparent in political struggles over carbon pricing, we have updated and re-launched these five principles, so the action mandate at the start of each line spells P-A-R-I-S:
- Price pollution,
- Add momentum,
- Reduce emissions,
- Internalize inefficiencies, and
- Spread by aligning.
Any carbon pricing policy that meets these five principles, as laid out at the top of this page — covering the whole economy, expanding the economic vibrancy of local economies, and steadily intensifying the market signal that pollution is not good business — can achieve an efficient, effective, equitable transition to climate-smart low-carbon practices.
The future prosperity of any economy — even those that are disproportionately funded by carbon fuel production — will hinge on being able to achieve such a transition.
A full history of the PARIS Principles is laid out at engage4climate.org/core with updates to show how these principles align with elements of the Paris Agreement and the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition processes.
From the Pathway to Paris Whitepaper:
Economic Inviability of an Unhealthy Market
It is no longer mathematically viable to build our economic framework around combustible hydrocarbon fuels. Emissions of carbon dioxide and other climate-forcing compounds (such as methane) are altering the Earth’s atmosphere, warming the oceans, and destabilizing the global climate system. The cost of inaction is already unaffordable, and will only escalate over time.
History & Resources
- The Pathway to Paris coalition-building project, to foster direct citizen participation in supranational climate policy processes, became the Citizens’ Climate Engagement Network.
- The largest Pathway to Paris working session was held on October 25, 2015, as Day 1 of the Minneapolis 2015 climate action conference, where the governance strategy for the CCEN was announced.
- The CCEN held its first international working session in Paris, during the first week of the COP21.
- All subsequent CCEN work is now online at engage4climate.org, with a detailed Resource Library on carbon pricing available through the Carbon Pricing Workstream.
Share the PARIS Principles...
Last week in Bonn, during the ADP 2.10 (the 10th Part of the 2nd Session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action), there was a general sense that too little progress is being made toward estabishing clear foundations for the text-specific negotations for the Paris agreement. There are many explanations for why, but one stands out as potentially the most instructive and useful: everyone knows what needs to happen, yet no one is fully confident that all others will go far enough, fast enough.Read more
In the latest episode from Context News, we take you through the past rounds of climate negotiations, and help to frame what is coming up next week in Bonn, Germany, where 196 countries will again sit down to streamline, refine, and strengthen the text on which the global climate pact to be agreed in Paris, in December, will be based.
A run-through of the issues at stake in the intersessional climate negotiations, being held in Bonn, in preparation for the Paris agreement.
Analysis by Ron Israel and Lois Barber, Co-chairs of the Citizen’s 2015 Global Climate Agreement Campaign.
The 21st United Nations sponsored Conference of the Parties (COP21) will be held in Paris this December. The goal of COP21 is to produce the first meaningful, legally binding international climate treaty since the Kyoto Protocol in 1997. As we have already seen, a global average surface temperature rise of 0.8 º Celsius above pre-industrial levels and another 0.5 º Celsius are already in the system, due to ongoing greenhouse gas emissions.Read more
In this episode of Climate Countdown, Kaia tours through the UNFCCC climate negotiations, held in Bonn, Germany, in June. She interviews youth delegates, reporters, policy advocates, and experienced advisors to national negotiating teams, and shows both the elusive nature of the language of the negotiations and the complexity of the effort to ensure good-faith negotiation can be the standard.
Last week saw Christiana Figueres, the head of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), in Australia to promote the importance of international climate policy this year across multiple sectors. In keeping with her busy schedule she spoke at events hosted by non-governmental organisations, business groups, universities and state governments.
2015 is a big year for the UNFCCC, with countries due to finalise a new international agreement on climate change action in Paris later this year. The last time countries tried to reach a new climate agreement of comparable significance was in 2009 in Copenhagen. The aftermath of Copenhagen is well known, with these talks being widely criticised as countries failed to produce a new legally binding instrument to address climate change.Read more
Our Pathway to Paris World Bank Working Session, held at the Civil Society Policy Forum on Wednesday, April 15, focused on the role of direct citizen participation in the global climate negotiations. For many reasons, direct citizen participation has been limited:
- One is there are already tens of thousands of people participating, representing interests, issues, places, solutions, grievances, and legal constructs.
- Another is that intergovernmental negotiations generally treat the interests of citizens and stakeholders as the province of their government officials. The sovereignty and political process of nations stand in for direct engagement.
- A third is that citizen participation is often equated to referenda, which are not always the best expression of the will of the people or the safest route to the policy that most benefits those voting.
- But a fourth, and perhaps most significant, is that we just don’t have a strong tradition of such engagement in multilateral negotiations.
Our working session produced powerful practical insights into the value of inclusive policy-making, stakeholder engagement, and outcomes that account for and embrace the complications of difference and variability.
We need non-expert voices in the room. No individual expert knows everything, many decision-makers are themselves non-experts, and considering stakeholders' voices leads to more legitimate, relevant and viable policy outcomes. Significant improvements in the prevailing condition require disruption of the status quo. The status quo implicitly extends from the status quo ante, the prevailing norms that preceded the current state of affairs and on which the structures we know were founded. Expertise is rooted in an examination of these two states, and can provide a sound and reasoned reference for how to move into the future, but when we look to achieve a post status quo reality, where human conditions are greatly improved and the previously unavailable has become commonplace, we have to recognize that we are looking beyond what is known. Expertise unaccompanied by the power of imagination and a hot contest of ideas can lead to planning not well adapted to visualizing, comprehending or catalyzing disruptive optimizing change.
The United States released its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) yesterday. The core of the commitment is a reduction of 26% to 28% below 2005 greenhouse gas emissions levels by the year 2025, a rate of emissions cuts that puts the US on track for 80% emissions reductions by 2050, but will likely not be enough to prevent a continued rise in global average temperatures to no more than 2ºC above pre-industrial levels. What is crucial is that this plan allows for the adding of more aggressive decarbonization over time, as progress is made, technology develops, investment patterns shift, and as the UN process looks toward setting 1.5ºC as the upper limit for temperature rise.