Climate | Wilson Center


The Paris Climate Agreement: What Was Achieved and What’s Next?

Is this the climate change “game changer” that the world has been waiting for? An expert panel gathered to assess what was accomplished during the Paris climate talks, and what the agreement means moving forward.

The Year Ahead in Environment and Energy

The climate agreement reached in Paris last December, seen by many as a critical step toward lowering greenhouse gas emissions, was big news – perhaps too big. Pointing to the thousands of articles about COP-21, National Geographic Senior Editor Marla Cone asked at a recent Wilson Center panel, “Is this a wise use of resources, when newsrooms are so stretched thin, to have everybody pretty much chasing the same stories?”

Costs and Benefits of Shore Power at the Port of Shenzhen

Seven of the world’s 10 largest and busiest container ports are located in China. These booming ports serve as the engines of China’s economic growth.

2015 Year in Review

Thanks to our scholars, our staff, and our friends around the world, this has been an exceptional year in programming at the Wilson Center. More than ever, our publications and our conversations bridged the worlds of scholarship and policy.

Below you’ll find a list of the standout events, publications, and articles of 2015 organized by the themes we found most significant.

Not Fully Lost and Damaged: How Loss and Damage Fared in the Paris Agreement

The Paris Agreement coming out of the Conference of Parties (COP) 21 negotiations gave breakthrough recognition to loss and damage, sorting through thorny discussions and politically charged negotiating positions. These positions revolved around liability and compensation, which developing countries called for but developed countries were unwilling to have included in the Agreement.

A New Era for Climate Diplomacy

The groundbreaking agreement reached at the 2015 Paris climate change conference is a diplomatic triumph. Laurent Fabius, foreign minister of France and president of the meeting formally known as the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) called the final text “differentiated, fair, dynamic, durable, balanced, and legally binding.”

Environmental Refugees

One of the hidden costs of climate change is the displacement of millions of people in some of the poorest regions of the globe.  The existing international refugee regime is ill-suited to cope with those seeking refuge from environmental disasters. Countries must get serious about developing coordinated plans to address the issue, lest they be caught by surprise when another humanitarian crisis hits.

Wilson Perspectives: The Paris Climate Agreement


by Jane Harman

In each edition of Wilson Perspectives, our top experts put breaking news in context. Leveraging our broad focus on the issues and our deep expertise in key regions, this collection frames last month’s landmark climate talks in Paris. Embracing the spirit of the 'high ambition coalition,' nations around the world promised to take a dizzying range of steps toward a safer, more prosperous, more resilient future. Here, we explore the key issues and chief questions.

An Empty Table? Food-Climate-Conflict Connections in Paris

Security, terrorism, conflict, and peace: you won’t find any of these words in the landmark agreement released on December 12 at the 2015 Paris Climate Conference (COP21). It’s never been front-and-center on the agenda at previous Conference of Parties, from Copenhagen to Cancun. But in Paris, a city reeling from terrorist attacks, the specter of climate-related conflict haunted delegates and the potential of a climate-resilient peace inspired grassroots protests.

Small Island States and the Paris Agreement

“I’m an island boy”

—President Barack Obama