Laurent Fabius and Christiana Figueres are nominated for their pivotal role in delivering a global climate agreement at the COP 21 meeting in Paris in December 2015.
The Paris agreement is a landmark moment in global efforts to tackle climate change and one of the most significant multilateral achievements of the last decade. The deal has established a new legal instrument covering all countries in the world with a long-term goal to limit global temperature increases to below 2oC and to pursue efforts to achieve a 1.5oC increase. To do so the governments established a set of nationally determined contributions which mark an increase in ambition from the pledges made in Copenhagen in 2009; and a ratchet mechanism to coordinate and increase action every five years.
The diplomatic efforts by Fabius and Figueres were central to this success. They worked tirelessly on the international stage throughout 2015, building trust between parties and encouraging active engagement and input from business and civil society alongside traditional political actors. Ultimately their leadership delivered the vital compromises between developed and developing countries that secured the final deal.