The Paris Agreement is an international treaty adopted in 2015 under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It aims to combat climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit).
The agreement was adopted on December 12, 2015, at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP 21) held in Paris, France. It represents a significant milestone in global efforts to address climate change, as it brought together 196 countries to commit to taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.
Key elements of the Paris Agreement include:
- Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs): Each participating country is required to submit their own climate action plan, known as an NDC, outlining their intended actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These contributions are intended to be updated and increased over time.
- Global Stocktake: The agreement establishes a process for reviewing collective progress towards achieving the agreement’s goals. A global stocktake will take place every five years to assess the implementation of the agreement and inform further action.
- Financial Support: Developed countries are expected to provide financial resources to help developing countries in their efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change. The agreement aims to mobilize $100 billion per year in climate finance by 2020, with a commitment to increase financial support in the future.
- Transparency and Accountability: The agreement emphasizes the need for transparency and accountability in reporting and reviewing countries’ progress. A framework for transparency is established to track countries’ efforts and ensure that they are meeting their commitments.
The Paris Agreement entered into force on November 4, 2016, after it was ratified by at least 55 countries representing at least 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Since then, there have been ongoing efforts by countries to implement their climate action plans and work towards the goals of the agreement.
It’s worth noting that while the Paris Agreement represents a significant step forward in global climate action, achieving its goals requires sustained efforts from all countries and sectors of society. Regular updates and international meetings continue to take place to assess progress, enhance ambition, and strengthen the global response to climate change.