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Global Climate Action Plan


Question: What should be the world’s plan to address climate change?
Submit Proposals:
Rules: All entrants must agree to the Contest rules and Terms of Use
Deadline: Saturday, Oct 17, 2015 at 23:59:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time
Judging Criteria & Prizes: See below.



There are major opportunities to address climate change at the sectoral (e.g. transport, buildings, industry, energy supply), regional (e.g. China, United States, India, Europe), and state/local levels, as demonstrated by other Climate CoLab contests. But ultimately, the combination of all actions taken across the planet will dictate how much progress humankind makes in dealing with climate change.

This contest invites Climate CoLab members to create an integrated vision for what actions the world as a whole can take.

Articulating a vision for the world as a whole has great potential value, since it can demonstrate that there is a plausible path forward. And such a vision can serve as a roadmap for the many disparate organizations and people whose actions will be needed to achieve a successful outcome. 

Integrated proposals

To create such overall visions for the world, the proposals in this contest are integrated proposals that include one regional plan for each of the six following regions: China, India, the United States, Europe, other developing countries, and other developed countries. People who contribute to the winning global proposals and to the sub-proposals they contain will all receive Climate CoLab Points

This contest is part of a pilot test of a new initiative in the Climate CoLab to develop integrated proposals for addressing climate change at the regional and global levels. Learn more.  If you have feedback on the approach, please let us know by sending email to  

Specific questions about how to submit proposals into this contest can be directed to the contest Fellows.  You can contact them by opening their profile and sending a CoLab Message on the site, or posting a comment on the Contest Discussion page. 

You are invited to discuss about strategies for creating regional and global climate action plans with the Climate CoLab community on the Forum.

Judging Criteria

Plans will be evaluated based on:

1. How well you have selected a combination of individual proposals that are strong in the four judging criteria: feasibility, novelty, impact and presentation quality.

2. How well you have  combined the different proposals to articulate a broad, coherent, and feasible vision for what the entire world can do about climate change. 


The top proposals and winner will be recognized and widely publicized by the Climate CoLab. They will also receive Climate CoLab Points and the top point-getters will receive shares of a Climate CoLab Points.

Climate CoLab Points

An integrated proposal (such as a regional or global plan) includes ideas from all the people who contributed to the sub-proposals, not just those who created the integrated proposal itself. To recognize all these contributions, a winning integrated proposal receives CoLab Points that are distributed among all these people. The top point-getters will receive shares of a cash prize of $10,000.  Read more.

Key elements of proposals

Any comprehensive combination of actions to address climate change across the world as a whole must necessarily involve:

When creating your plan, you should also: 


The following background information seeks to provide guidance and contextual framing for proposal developers for the Global Climate Action Plan contest.

Resources for Proposal Authors from Contest Advisors & Fellows

2015 marks a critical year on climate change and sustainable development, with the culmination of two major UN processes intended to shape the next several decades of global progress on each. Both come at a ripe time, with 1.1 billion people still living without access to electricity,[1] energy production and use accounting for over two-thirds of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions,[2] and global population size predicted to surpass 9.6 billion by 2050.[3]

New global Sustainable Development Goals,[4] successors to the Millennium Development Goals [5] launched in 2000, are anticipated to be agreed at the United Nations Summit for the Adoption of the Post-2015 Development Agenda, [6] to be held in September 2015. In addition to containing a dedicated goal for “urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts,” the latest draft [7] of these goals includes a number of other objectives with significant linkages [8]  to climate change, including energy access, poverty alleviation, food and water security, and resilient infrastructure.

Meanwhile, 195 countries from across the globe have agreed to forge a new international climate agreement later this year, which will come into effect by 2020. This new agreement builds on a 1992 international treaty called the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) [9] and is expected to be reached by the end of the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) [10] to be held in Paris, France, from November 30 - December 11, 2015.

The first part of the year has seen compelling momentum toward this end, from the moral call to action in Pope Francis’s Encyclical on Climate Change,[11] to major corporations pledging their support for an international agreement and directing financing toward low-carbon investments,[12] to many countries’ submitting their intended emissions reductions “contributions” toward a new agreement.[13] As of early September 2015, thirty of these “intended nationally-determined contributions” have been submitted to the UN, in anticipation of COP21, and accounting for approximately 64.5% [14] of global emissions to date. This includes major economies and heavy emitters like the United States, China, and the European Union:

Several analytic bodies have begun to assess and compare how these various national plans add up globally, and what criteria [18] the global community might use to compare them. A few of these resources include:

Still, many fear that the cumulative emissions reductions reached with this agreement may not be enough to forestall harmful impacts from climate change, and that even more may need to be done in the near-term.


Key topics to consider in informing proposals toward the Global Contest include:

Sustainable Development and Climate Change:

Global Markets, Financial Mechanisms, and Trade:

Urbanization, Cities, and the Role of Green Infrastructure:

Technology and Innovation:

Public Education and Communications, Individual and Collective Actions:


What are your proposals for how the global community can most effectively address climate change?



1. World Bank; International Energy Agency. Sustainable Energy for All 2014-2015. 2015. “Progress Toward Sustainable Energy:Global Tracking Framework 2015 Key Findings.”  <>

2. International Energy Agency. 2015. “World Energy Outlook Special Report 2015: Energy And Climate Change.” <>

3. United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. 2015. “World Population Prospects: The 2015 Revision, Key Findings and Advance Tables. Working Paper No. ESA/P/WP.241.” <>

4. Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform. 2015. “Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform Sustainable Development Goals.” <>

5. UN Millennium Project. August 2015. “UN Millennium Project. About The MDGs.” <>

6. Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform. “United Nations Summit To Adopt the Post-2015 Development Agenda .:. Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform.” <>

7. UN Post-2015 Intergovernmental Negotiations. August 2015.”Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.” <>

8. Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN). May 2015. “The impact of climate change on the achievement of the post-2015 sustainable development goals.” <>

9. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. 2015. “Essential Background.”<>

10. Government of France COP21 Official Website. 2015. “COP21 - United Nations Conference On Climate Change.” <>


12. The White House. August 2015. “FACT SHEET: White House Launches American Business Act on Climate Pledge.” <>

13. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. 2015. “Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs).” <>

14. Responding to Climate Change (RTCC). August 2015. “Paris tracker: Who has pledged what for 2015 UN climate pact?” <>

15. The United States of America. Submission to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. 2015. “United States Intended Nationally Determined Contribution.” <>

16. The People’s Republic of China. Submission to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. June 2015. “ENHANCED ACTIONS ON CLIMATE CHANGE: CHINA’ S INTENDED NATIONALLY DETERMINED CONTRIBUTIONS. ” <'s%20INDC%20-%20on%2030%20June%202015.pdf>

17. The European Commission. Submission to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. March 2015. “SUBMISSION BY LATVIA AND THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION ON BEHALF OF THE EUROPEAN UNION AND ITS MEMBER STATES.”  <>

18. Resources for the Future. 2015. “The Road to Paris and Beyond: Comparing Emissions Mitigation Efforts.” <>

19. The World Resources Institute. August 2015. “CAIT Climate Data Explorer: Paris Contributions Map.” <>

20. Climate Action Tracker. 2015. “Climate Action Tracker: Tracking iNDCs.” <>

21. Responding to Climate Change (RTCC). August 2015. “Paris tracker: Who has pledged what for 2015 UN climate pact?” <>

22. The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions. 2015. “Comparison of iNDCS.” <>

23. International Energy Agency. 2015. “World Energy Outlook Special Report 2015: Energy And Climate Change.” <>

24. The Carbon Brief. July 2015. “Paris 2015: Tracking country climate pledges.” <>

25. The Carbon Brief. June 2015. “Countdown to the Paris Climate Conference.” <>

26. Climate Policy Observer. 2015. “INDC.” <>