Dossier: Climate summit COP 21 in Paris

Dossier: climate summit COP 21 in Paris

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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

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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.


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.


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Group Exhibition
May 30
Investment and Sustainable Development on the African Continent
May 31
Investment and Sustainable Development on the African Continent

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

Closing ceremony COP21

Paris has been declared as a historic moment and breakthrough. By putting an end to the Kyoto governance and signalling the decline of the fossil fuel area, this new agreement is a huge step forward in the history of international climate diplomacy.


deforestation in Brazil

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


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.


As a result of the climate change India and South Asia will likely have a huge economic, social, and environmental damage. Therefore climate solutions must be considered in national climate policy.

Arriving with a train from Russia in Helsinki

For his documentary a finnish filmmaker followed the coaltravel from Kuzbass to Helsinki. His plan: talking to people in the train about climate change. But they didn't want to talk with him.

Former coal mine in Poland

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.


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.



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.

What is at stake

Sonne scheint auf Thermometer

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.


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.



Cover Turning point

The transformation of economic growth towards a lower dependency on fossil fuels and related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is essential for the feasibility of a successful global climate strategy. A study by DIW Econ.

Big Oil, Gas & Coal

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.


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.

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.

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

Mikado sticks

Thomas Fatheuer, Lili Fuhr and Barbara Unmüßig of the Heinrich Böll Foundation set out to explore the basic assumptions, hypotheses and proposed solutions of the green economy and to illustrate and criticize their effects in practice.

European Union


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.

Climate Change: Too hot to handle

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.

The level of political commitment in the build up to Paris means a deal is very likely. But, the devil will be in the detail. The final Policy Brief of the "From Warsaw to Paris" series discusses how to communicate the COP21 outcome and what the outcomes of Paris mean for the EU’s 2016 climate and energy agenda.

Climate Finance

Kann der Green Climate Fund (GCF) neue Klimafinanzierungsmaßstäbe setzen für eine gendergerechte operative Arbeit und Umsetzung? Ein neues Papier der von Liane Schalatek analysiert das Potential des GCF in dieser Rolle, ebenso wie die Herausforderungen und Hindernisse und die Möglichkeiten diese zu bezwingen.

Fossil fuel producers (the “Carbon Majors”) should pay for the loss and damage their product is causing on poor communities via a levy to the International Mechanism for Loss and Damage.



At the moment regulations for the trade with genetic material help to safeguard the rights of providers of genetic resources. This could change with the use of digital gene sequences.

"Teaching Ecofair Trade" was a joint EU project together with Caritas Czech, MISEREOR, Mendel University Brno and Heinrich-Böll-Foundation to develop multilevel teaching modules which enable European Universities to integrate the perspective of the human right to food as a key turning point for teaching agricultural trade and investment policy. This dossier provides a selection of activities and studies that were realized as part of the project.


During the autumn semester 2015 expert lecturers from Tanzania, Netherlands, Germany and South Africa join a series of discussions about the right to food with students at partner universities within the scope of the project EcoFairTrade.

Energy transition


What options do German policymakers have when shaping the European Energiewende debate? The Heinrich Böll Foundation proposes a set of recommendations.

Clean energy replaces coal

We brought US community leaders to Germany for a week-long tour of former coal regions. On the tour, we explored ways in which coal communities can adapt to changing markets, and reinvent themselves for a sustainable future.

More articles

Forest fire in Indonesia

The forest fires in Borneo and Sumatra are the worst fires in almost 20 years. Experts agree that slash-and-burn agriculture is their immediate cause. What can be done to improve the situation?


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.

warsaw climate summit

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?

This trilingual webdossier presents analysis and perspectives from a wide range of international and regional experts on how climate change, resource and energy politics relate to political and social change.


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".