The Paris Agreement: What is it and Why is it Important?
The Paris Agreement is an international treaty that aims to combat climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and limiting global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius. It was adopted on December 12, 2015, at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), held in Paris, France.
The agreement is a landmark achievement in global efforts to address the threat of climate change. It is the first time that all countries of the world have committed to taking climate action, regardless of their level of development. The Paris Agreement is also significant in that it sets out a clear and ambitious goal for limiting global warming, which is critical to preventing the worst impacts of climate change.
The Paris Agreement`s main goal is to keep the increase in global average temperature to well below 2 degrees Celsius, with a target of limiting the increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. This goal is based on the latest scientific research, which shows that limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change, such as more frequent and severe heatwaves, droughts, floods, and storms.
To achieve the Paris Agreement`s goal, countries are required to submit emissions reduction targets, known as nationally determined contributions (NDCs), and to update them every five years. The NDCs are not legally binding, but they create a framework for international cooperation and encourage countries to take ambitious climate action.
The Paris Agreement also includes provisions for finance, technology transfer, and capacity building to help developing countries transition to low-carbon and climate-resilient economies. Developed countries committed to providing $100 billion per year in climate finance by 2020 and pledged to scale up their support in the future.
The Paris Agreement entered into force on November 4, 2016, and has been ratified by 189 countries. However, the United States, the world`s second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, announced its withdrawal from the agreement in 2017, but has since rejoined under the new administration. The Paris Agreement is a critical tool in the fight against climate change, and its implementation is essential to ensure a safe and sustainable future for all.