The Paris Principles

The Paris Principles were the anchor of the participatory coalition-building Pathway to Paris Project. To allow advocates and policy-makers working for effective, efficient, equitable carbon pricing, through diverse policy options, to harmonize, and build momentum, it was necessary to lay out core principles which can be applied anywhere, to any variety of carbon pricing plan.

14 months before the COP21 in Paris, on September 23, 2014, the Pathway to Paris launch outlined these five general standards:

  1. A steady, resolute and rising carbon price.
  2. Internalizing costs incrementally, steadily and with no leakage.
  3. Simple, transparent, effective at reducing emissions.
  4. Building economic value at the human scale.
  5. Easy to implement: country by country, harmonizing across borders.

A full history of the Paris Principles is laid out at with updates to show how these principles align with elements of the Paris Agreement and the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition processes.

From the Pathway to Paris Whitepaper:

Economic Inviability of an Unhealthy Market

It is no longer mathematically viable to build our economic framework around combustible hydrocarbon fuels. Emissions of carbon dioxide and other climate-forcing compounds (such as methane) are altering the Earth’s atmosphere, warming the oceans, and destabilizing the global climate system. The cost of inaction is already unaffordable, and will only escalate over time.

Important updates:

History & Resources

  • The Pathway to Paris coalition-building project, to foster direct citizen participation in supranational climate policy processes, became the Citizens’ Climate Engagement Network.
  • The largest Pathway to Paris working session was held on October 25, 2015, as Day 1 of the Minneapolis 2015 climate action conference, where the governance strategy for the CCEN was announced.
  • The CCEN held its first international working session in Paris, during the first week of the COP21.
  • All subsequent CCEN work is now online at, with a detailed resource Library available through the Carbon Pricing Workstream.
  • was created in part to facilitate ongoing participation through enhanced awareness of how the Paris Agreement is being implemented.

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