The most recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is unequivocal about the magnitude of the challenge posed by man-made climate change. International negotiations through the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have made little progress since the 2009 Copenhagen Conference of the Parties. Hopes have been raised for the 2015 meeting planned for Paris, which is supposed to plan for the period after 2020. While a plethora of institutions have emerged to complement (or compete with) the UNFCC and the idea of a “bottom-up” approach is all the rage, this paper argues that heads of state and government have to become seriously engaged before Paris. The UN Secretary-General has called a summit for later this year. The Group of Twenty has a role in mobilizing the necessary finance. The paper calls for a summit of private sector leaders, as well as governments, to identify the principal roadblocks that stand in the way of what must be the greatest investment opportunity of the twenty-first century.

CIGI Papers present in-depth analysis and discussion on governance-related subjects. They include policy papers that present CIGI experts' positions or contributions to policy debates, and background papers that contain research findings, insights and data that contribute to the development of policy positions.