The Paris Agreement: What Does It Do?
The Paris Agreement is an international treaty designed to combat climate change by limiting global temperature increase and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It was negotiated by representatives of 196 countries at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris in 2015 and entered into force in November 2016.
The main goal of the Paris Agreement is to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius. To achieve this, countries have committed to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions and to regularly reporting on their progress.
Under the Paris Agreement, countries are required to submit nationally determined contributions (NDCs) outlining their plans for reducing emissions. These plans are not legally binding, but countries are encouraged to progressively strengthen them over time.
In addition to reducing emissions, the Paris Agreement also aims to increase climate resilience and to provide financial support to developing countries to help them mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change.
One of the unique aspects of the Paris Agreement is its bottom-up approach. Rather than imposing a one-size-fits-all solution, each country determines its own contribution to the global effort to combat climate change. This approach recognizes that countries have different capabilities and responsibilities, and that a more flexible framework is necessary for effective international cooperation.
The Paris Agreement also includes provisions for transparency and accountability. Countries are required to report on their emissions and progress towards their NDCs, and a global stocktake is conducted every five years to assess overall progress towards the Agreement`s goals.
While the Paris Agreement represents a significant step forward in the global effort to combat climate change, there is still much work to be done. Countries must continue to strengthen their NDCs and take bold action to reduce emissions and increase resilience. We must all work together to ensure that the goals of the Paris Agreement are achieved and that we create a sustainable future for generations to come.