COP21: Paris

Dossier: climate summit COP 21 in Paris

After the failed climate summit in Copenhagen 2009, governments of 196 countries meet again at COP 21 in Paris at the end of November to negotiate a globally binding climate agreement, which is supposed to enter into force after 2020. The goal is to limit the warming of the earth’s climate to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Important issues among others are the financing of necessary measures and the equitable sharing of burdens, responsibilities and advantages among the countries. Facing the already tangible impacts of climate change, it is also important to develop a compensation mechanism for climate change losses and damages and to address the question of responsibility. In this ongoing dossier we pick up these and other aspects and complement them with regional analyses from our international offices.

The Paris agreement

Ralf Fücks and Barbara Unmüßig on the conclusion of the negotiations:

"Less than required, more than expected. It is in our hands whether the Paris Climate Treaty will become a historic turning point. Now, the EU has to amend its less than ambitious 2020 / 2030 climate goals, and the German government push ahead with the phase-out of coal. Poor developing countries will need technological and financial support for the transition into a fossil-free future - and climate protection, the fight against poverty, and economic development will have to go hand in hand."

The full text of the Paris Agreement can be found here.


Today, everybody is aware of how much the earth’s climate is changing. We are campaigning for a global climate treaty that is to be overseen by the United Nations. At the same time, we are involved in efforts towards climate change mitigation, the financing thereof, and that the consequent burden be shared in an equitable manner on the local, national, and regional levels – the whole world over.


The Carbon Levy Project

90 oil, gas & coal producers are responsible for two thirds of our CO2 emissions in the atmosphere. It’s time to make them pay for their climate damage.


With this website, we would like to take a critical look at the German federal government’s international climate change financing and help increase its transparency.

Regional Perspectives


Brazil and the REDD debate

A compensation mechanism could provide countries with incentives to stop their deforestation and thus reduce emissions. However, this relatively simple economic solution remains controversial.

By Maureen Santos

“South Africa has the negotiating capacity”

South Africa is highly dependent on coal but also considered a leader on climate policy. How does it look at the upcoming climate summit in Paris? An interview with Richard Worthington.

By Richard Worthington

Poland’s approach to the Paris COP

Poland is a major coal producer. Miners there are well organised and have strong political leverage. There is a big question mark over how the new government want to approach EU climate policy. An analysis.

By Tobiasz Adamczewski


Indian Positions on Cop 21

India has become the third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases. In this blog, we document recent views from India on what the country should do, and is doing, during the climate negotiations in Paris.


COP 21 and the Paris Agreement: A Force Awakened

Globally, political leaders are lauding the acceptance of the global and legally binding Paris Agreement on Climate Change at COP21 as a historical moment. It achieves a goal long believed unattainable. However, judged against the enormity of the challenge and the needs and pressure from people on the ground demanding a global deal anchored in climate justice, the Paris Agreement can only be called a disappointment.

By Lili Fuhr, Liane Schalatek, Maureen Santos, Hans Verolme, Dr. Radostina Primova, Damjan Bogunovic

What is at stake

First in the class, but not best in the Class – The EU’s Proposal for the 2015 Climate Conference in Paris

The European Commission recently released its vision for the global climate change agreement, which is due to be adopted in Paris in December. It is worth noting that the EU is the first negotiating party to present its offer for the Paris agreement. Nevertheless, the extent to which the offer paves the way to an ambitious climate deal in Paris is questionable indeed.

By Silvia Brugger

The turning point

Climate change requires urgent action, as hardly any government will deny. Business is also beginning to rise to the challenge. Nevertheless, the voluntary commitments being developed for the climate summit in Paris (COP21) are falling short.

By Barbara Unmüßig, Ralf Fücks



Big Oil, Gas & Coal

The Carbon Levy Project

90 oil, gas & coal producers are responsible for two thirds of our CO2 emissions in the atmosphere. It’s time to make them pay for their climate damage.

Big Polluters, Pay Up

As the so-called advanced economies fail to fulfill their commitments to stop climate change, people in Vietnam, Myanmar or on the island states of the Pacific have to pay with their lives. Big Oil, Big Gas, and Big Coal need to accept responsibility and start making real contributions.

By Stephen Leonard

Making a killing

Die Folgen des Klimawandels sind bereits spürbar. Die Auswirkungen auf die ärmsten und schutzlosesten Menschen sind verheerend. Der englischsprachige Bericht des Carbon Levy Project zeigt an verschiedenen Fallbeispielen welche realen Schäden und Verluste Entwicklungsländer durch Klimawandelauswirkungen erlitten haben.

Big Oil, Coal and Gas Producers Paying for their Climate Damage


The Climate Justice Programme (CJP) and the Heinrich Böll Foundation are proposing a new and innovative source of finance: a fossil fuel extraction levy paid by those 90 entities responsible for two-thirds of global carbon emissions. The third and updated edition of the Carbon Majors report, now titled "Big Oil, Coal and Gas Producers paying for their Climate Damage".

Green Economy

European Union

Key Messages from Warsaw to Paris and Beyond

The Brussels climate dialogue series that was held from the Climate Summit in Warsaw (COP19 ) until the Climate Summit in Paris (COP21) resulted in the following six key messages to build EU climate ambition in the international climate negotiations.

By Silvia Brugger

Europe Must be Strong on Climate Risk at COP21

If the EU is serious about an ambitious agreement at the UN talks in Paris, it must prioritise adaptation and resilience to climate risk in the negotiations, write Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung's Presidents Barbara Unmüßig and Ralf Fücks and E3G's Chief Executive Nick Mabey.

By Barbara Unmüßig, Ralf Fücks

Climate Finance


Agrifood Atlas: Graphics and license terms

All graphs of the Agrifood Atlas are published under a Creative Commons License CC BY 4.0. and can be continued to be used, processed and published under the mentioned conditions. You can find all downloads available in various formats (png, pdf) here.

Save our soils!

Healthy soils are crucial to human nutrition and the fight against hunger. But worldwide 24 billion tons of fertile soil is lost annually. Barbara Unmüßig calls attention to the growing threat to one of Earth’s most important resources.

By Barbara Unmüßig

The Global Land Grab: The New Enclosures

Clearly possession is no more sufficient today than it was for the English villagers of the 17th and 18th centuries of enclosure. Only legal recognition of commons as the communal property of communities, author Liz Alden Wily finds, is sufficient to afford real protection. By Liz Alden Wily

Energy transition

Coal Commission Final Report – Assessment


Stefanie Groll takes a look at the long awaited report, which is considered the onset of the coal exit in Germany. What does the report propose for climate protection, structural change, workers, and industries?

By Stefanie Groll

More articles


Climate Summit New York 2014

On September 23, 2014, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon is hosting a high level Climate Summit at the UN Headquarters in New York. High level representatives from politics, business and civil society are invited to participate. Our dossier gives an overview of the Foundation’s current work on climate politics.

COP19: Warsaw

The UN climate conference in Warsaw was the COP with the lowest expectations ever and lived up to that in every respect. What were the issues discussed and decisions taken? Who is to blame for the stalemate?

By Lili Fuhr, Liane Schalatek, Katarzyna Ugryn, Wanun Permpibul

Lecture: Ralf Fücks on "Green Growth, Smart Growth"

We are facing a very important moment in environmental diplomacy and an opportunity to overcome the old fashioned contradiction between economic development and environment protection. Lecture by Ralf Fücks on his recently published book "Green Growth, Smart Growth".

By Ralf Fücks