What Is the Objective of the Paris Agreement

The agreement contains commitments from all countries to reduce their emissions and work together to adapt to the effects of climate change and calls on countries to strengthen their commitments over time. The agreement provides an opportunity for developed countries to assist developing countries in their mitigation and adaptation efforts, while providing a framework for transparent monitoring and reporting on countries` climate goals. The Kyoto Protocol, a landmark environmental treaty adopted at COP3 in Japan in 1997, is the first time that countries have agreed on country-specific emission reduction targets that are legally mandated. The protocol, which only entered into force in 2005, set binding emission reduction targets only for developed countries, based on the assumption that they were responsible for most of the Earth`s high greenhouse gas emissions. The United States first signed the agreement, but never ratified it; President George W. Bush argued that the deal would hurt the U.S. economy because it would not include developing countries such as China and India. Without the participation of these three countries, the effectiveness of the treaty proved limited, as its objectives covered only a small fraction of total global emissions. The agreement stipulated that it would only enter into force (and thus become fully effective) if 55 countries producing at least 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions (according to a list drawn up in 2015)[65] ratified, accepted, approved or acceded to the convention. [66] [67] On April 1, 2016, the United States and China, which together account for nearly 40% of global emissions, issued a joint statement confirming that the two countries will sign the Paris Climate Agreement. [68] [69] 175 Contracting Parties (174 States and the European Union) signed the Agreement on the day of its first opening for signature. [59] [70] On the same day, more than 20 countries published a memorandum of understanding to accede as soon as possible in order to accede in 2016. With its ratification by the European Union, the agreement received enough contracting parties to enter into force on 4 November 2016.

INDCs become NDCs – Nationally Determined Contributions – once a country formally accedes to the agreement. There are no specific requirements on how countries should reduce their emissions or to what extent, but there have been political expectations regarding the nature and severity of the targets set by different countries. As a result, national plans vary considerably in scope and ambition, largely reflecting each country`s capacities, level of development and contribution to emissions over time. China, for example, has pledged to reduce its carbon emissions by 2030 at the latest and to reduce carbon emissions per unit of gross domestic product (GDP) by 60 to 65 percent by 2030 compared to 2005 levels. India has set a target of reducing emissions intensity by 33-35% from 2005 levels and producing 40% of its electricity from non-fossil fuels by 2030. It will also allow the parties to progressively improve their contributions to the fight against climate change in order to achieve the long-term objectives of the agreement. Ultimately, all parties have acknowledged the need to “avoid, minimize and treat loss and damage,” but in particular, any mention of indemnification or liability is excluded. [11] The Convention also adopts the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage, an institution that will seek to answer questions on how to classify, address and share responsibility for losses. [56] The Paris Agreement provides a sustainable framework that will guide global efforts over the coming decades. The aim is to increase countries` climate ambitions over time.

To this end, the agreement provides for two review processes, each of which goes through a five-year cycle. The NRDC is working to make the Global Climate Action Summit a success by encouraging more ambitious commitments to the historic 2015 agreement and initiatives to reduce pollution. In quantifying the damage that carbon pollution does to society, Trump views America as an island in itself — and we all know what climate change is doing to the islands. The Paris Agreement is the first universal and legally binding global climate agreement adopted at the Paris Climate Change Conference (COP21) in December 2015. Carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane are gases that accumulate in the atmosphere and prevent heat from radiating from the Earth`s surface into space, creating the so-called greenhouse effect. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the leading international scientific body working on the issue, the concentration of these heat storage gases has increased dramatically since pre-industrial times to levels not seen in at least 800,000 years. Carbon dioxide (the main cause of climate change) has increased by 40%, nitrous oxide by 20% and methane by 150% since 1750 – mainly from the combustion of dirty fossil fuels. The IPCC says it is “extremely likely” that these emissions are mainly responsible for the rise in global temperatures since the 1950s. At the same time, deforestation and forest degradation have also contributed to their fair share of global carbon emissions.

Adaptation issues were further emphasized in the drafting of the Paris Agreement. Collective long-term adaptation objectives are included in the agreement and countries are held accountable for their adaptation measures, making adaptation a parallel component of the agreement with mitigation. [46] Adaptation objectives focus on improving adaptive capacity, increasing resilience and limiting vulnerability. [47] Currently, 197 countries – all countries on the planet, the last signatory being war-torn Syria – have adopted the Paris Agreement. Of these, 179 have solidified their climate proposals with formal approval – including the US for now. The only major emitting countries that have not yet officially joined the deal are Russia, Turkey and Iran. These transparency and accountability provisions are similar to those of other international agreements. While the system does not involve financial sanctions, the requirements are aimed at easily tracking each nation`s progress and fostering a sense of global peer pressure, thus preventing any hesitation between countries considering doing so. Recognizing that many developing countries and small island states that have contributed the least to climate change could suffer the most from its consequences, the Paris Agreement includes a plan for developed countries – and others that are “able to do so” – to continue to provide funds to help developing countries mitigate and increase their resilience to climate change.

The agreement builds on financial commitments from the 2009 Copenhagen Accord, which aimed to increase public and private climate finance for developing countries to $100 billion a year by 2020. (To put this in perspective, global military spending in 2017 alone amounted to about $1.7 trillion, more than a third of which came from the United States.) The Copenhagen Compact also created the Green Climate Fund to help mobilize transformative financing with targeted public funds. The Paris Agreement set hope that the world would set a higher annual target by 2025 to build on the $100 billion target for 2020 and put in place mechanisms to achieve that scale. With the adoption of the UNFCCC, governments around the world set themselves the long-term goal of “stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at levels that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic disturbances to the climate system.” 1 The adoption of this goal has been a fundamental guide for the intergovernmental process and its parts in the fight against climate change. .

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