Climate change has created the need for a new strategic framework for conservation. This frame- work needs to include new protected areas that account for species range shifts and management that addresses large-scale change across international borders. Actions within the framework must be effective in international waters and across political frontiers and have the ability to accommodate large income and ability-to-pay discrepancies between countries. A global protected-area system responds to these needs. A fully implemented global system of protected areas will help in the transition to a new conservation paradigm robust to climate change and will ensure the integrity of the climate services provided by carbon sequestration from the world’s natural habitats. The internationally coordinated response to climate change afforded by such a system could have significant cost savings relative to a system of climate adaptation that unfolds solely at a country level. Implementation of a global system is needed very soon because the effects of climate change on species and ecosystems are already well underway.