Implementing the Paris Climate Agreement

This strategic engagement program has strengthened public discussion and applied research translation on international climate negotiations issues...

Supporting the achievement of a new International Climate Agreement in Paris 2015 through research translation for engagement with key countries

This strategic engagement program has strengthened public discussion and applied research translation on international climate negotiations issues and debates before, during and after the UNFCCC COP21 Conference in Paris in 2015. A key output was the research and production of a Briefing Papers series on the challenges faced by key nations. The team used this knowledge to provide high-level engagement with the Hon Al Gore and other leaders and stakeholders, including The Climate Reality Project and its trainings. In these ways, the project supported the Paris Agreement, encouraged greater ambition in its goals, and built support for a strong ‘ratchet mechanism’ during the post-COP21 period.

This project also has a focus on what sub-national entities, particularly States and Provinces can do to assist implement the Paris Agreement. Research Fellow Laura Schuijers is working with Professor Henry to initially examine how Australian State Governments can support implementation of the Agreement.

Aims and Activities:

  • To consolidate and deepen the partnership with The Climate Reality Project (TCRP), a not-for-profit led by the Hon Mr Al Gore. TCRP is registered in USA, with branches/partner's in India, Brazil, Indonesia, South Africa, Europe, Australia, Canada, Mexico, and a presence in China and Germany.
  • To establish close working relationships with a targeted set of overseas universities, including those with which the University of Melbourne already has a formal overarching partnership.
  • To research (literature search, data/statistics collection, synthesis of information, analysis and commentary) and produce (published online and as hard copies) a bespoke series of MSSI Briefing Papers for each of a set of nations identified as key to the UNFCCC climate negotiations in 2015 and subsequently. These include India, the Philippines, China, Brazil, South Africa and Chile.
  • To research and produce a Briefing Paper series analysing and comparing Australia’s climate change action policies, especially emissions reductions targets, relative to those of other nations, i.e. China, the UK, South Korea, and the USA.
  • To distribute these Briefing Papers to key stakeholders, influencers, and decision-makers in the international climate negotiations sphere. Furthermore, to utilise this research and leverage these relationships in order to shape and influence key discussions, both open and “back room”, about how to set ambitious national and global emissions reductions targets and how to solidify commitments to them.
  • Prof Henry’s unique role entails a significant travel program through which he establishes and enriches research linkages with peak environmental NGOs and key international civil society bodies, such as the UNFCCC. He is a member of the International Board of Directors for The Climate Reality Project.


The Hon Al Gore visits the University of Melbourne to discuss climate change research in the lead up to the COP21 climate negotiations in Paris 2015.

Lead investigators

Prof Don Henry
Enterprise Professor

Laura Schuijers
Research Fellow

Banner image caption: Prof Don Henry and The Hon Al Gore at the COP21 Climate Negotiations in Paris 2015. Image: Cecilia Reifschneider/flickr.