The Paris Agreement on Global Warming is one of the most important international agreements when it comes to combating climate change. It was signed by 195 countries at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris in 2015 and aims to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, with an ideal target of limiting it to just 1.5 degrees Celsius.
But what exactly is the Paris Agreement and what does it mean for the future of our planet?
The Paris Agreement is a legally binding agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which was established in 1992. The aim of the UNFCCC is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system.
The Paris Agreement builds on the work of the UNFCCC and sets out a framework for countries to work together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the effects of climate change. It also provides a mechanism for countries to review and enhance their efforts over time, with the aim of achieving a long-term goal of net-zero emissions by the second half of the century.
One of the key features of the Paris Agreement is the concept of nationally determined contributions (NDCs). Each country is responsible for determining its own contributions to the global effort to combat climate change. These contributions are submitted as part of the agreement and are reviewed every five years to ensure that they are in line with the overall goal of limiting global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius.
The Paris Agreement also includes provisions for financing and technology transfer to help developing countries transition to a low-carbon economy. Developed countries are required to provide financial assistance to developing countries to support their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the effects of climate change.
In addition, the Paris Agreement establishes a global stocktake every five years to assess progress towards the long-term goal of net-zero emissions. This stocktake will provide a comprehensive assessment of the collective efforts of all countries and will help to inform future actions to combat climate change.
Overall, the Paris Agreement is a significant step forward in the global effort to combat climate change. It provides a framework for international cooperation and sets out a clear pathway towards a low-carbon future. However, it is important that countries continue to work together to enhance their efforts and ensure that the goals of the agreement are achieved.