Paris Climate Agreement #378

July 15, 2016

This week we're reviewing the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Paris and trying to better understand what happened at the conference and what the agreement means for the future. We speak to Tamsin Edwards, Lecturer in Environmental Sciences and writer of the "All Models Are Wrong" blog, and to Piers Forster, Director of the Priestley International Centre for Climate and Professor of Physical Climate Change at the University of Leeds, about the climate science and climate models that prompted the Paris Climate Conference, and what the final agreement means with regards to the science. We also speak with Yamide Dagnet, Senior Associate with the World Resources Institute’s Collective Climate Action Objective, and Richard Black, Director of the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, about the political and legal realities of the conference and agreement.

Special thanks to Jacquelyn Gill for all her research help on this one!


  • Tamsin Edwards
  • Piers Forster
  • Yamide Dagnet
  • Richard Black

Guest Bios

Tamsin Edwards

Dr. Tamsin Edwards is a Lecturer in Environmental Sciences at the Open University in the UK. Originally a particle physicist, her research now focuses on quantifying uncertainties in computer model predictions of climate and environmental change, such as future sea level rise from the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets. She is active in talking about climate science with the public, tweeting as @flimsin and writing for Vice News, Guardian Online and her PLOS blog "All Models Are Wrong", and she is regularly interviewed by the media about knotty issues of climate science and modelling.

Piers Forster

Piers Forster is director of the Priestley International Centre for Climate and Professor of physical climate change at the University of Leeds, where he has been since 2005. He studied physics at Imperial College and gained a PhD in meteorology from the University of Reading in 1994. He spent part of his research career working at NOAA in Boulder, Colorado. His expertise is in quantifying the causes of climate change and how the climate responds. He is currently researching geoengineering methods and decadal variability. Piers was a lead author on both the AR5 and AR4 IPCC assessment reports and is a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award holder.

Yamide Dagnet

Yamide Dagnet is a Senior Associate with the World Resources Institute’s Collective Climate Action Objective. She worked on the ACT 2015 project on the design of the Paris Agreement, and is now leading the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement at WRI. She previously worked for the UK and French governments in safeguarding environmental assets, negotiating an enhanced UNFCCC measurement, reporting and verification framework underpinning climate policies, reviewing/auditing countries' national reports and coordinating the UK scientific responses for the IPCC 4th Assessment report. She holds a Master in Engineering from the University of Technology of Compiegne.

Richard Black

Richard Black studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge University before joining BBC World Service in 1985. As BBC Environment Correspondent, his reporting assignments included many UN summits including five UNFCCC meetings and Rio+20. He was Director of Communications for the Global Ocean Commission prior to setting up ECIU. He now runs the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, a non-profit think-tank in London, UK, dedicated to improving understanding on energy and climate issues.

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