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.

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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.
  • Jessica Boyle currently serves as policy lead in support of a range of the Delphi Group’s climate change and sustainability services. She helps clients navigate the complex policy and regulatory landscape, providing advisory and analytical support across various sectors and markets. Prior to Delphi, Jessica worked as a project manager and project officer with the Climate Change and Energy team at the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). She also spent time as a Balsillie Fellow with CIGI and has worked for the Parliament of Canada. This paper was authored during Jessica’s time at the IISD.

  • David Runnalls is a distinguished fellow and was formerly acting director of the Environment and Energy Program at CIGI. 

  • Dave Sawyer is a leading environmental economist with a 22-year track record in solving policy challenges for sustainable development. He is an accomplished adviser, author and communicator with experience working with government and industry in Canada and around the world.