The Paris Environment Agreement: An Overview
The Paris Environment Agreement, also known as the Paris Climate Agreement, is a legally binding international treaty that was adopted in December 2015 at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21) held in Paris, France.
The agreement aims to limit the global average temperature increase to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C. This is to avoid the most catastrophic consequences of climate change, such as more intense heatwaves, sea-level rise, and extreme weather events.
The Paris Agreement has been signed by 195 countries and ratified by 189. The United States, under the previous administration, announced its withdrawal from the agreement, but it has since been re-joined by the current administration.
To achieve its goal of limiting global warming, the agreement sets out a framework for action that includes:
1. Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)
Each country is required to submit an NDC that outlines its plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change. The NDCs are reviewed every five years to ensure they are ambitious enough to achieve the Paris Agreement`s goals.
2. Long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies
Countries are encouraged to develop long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies that align with the Paris Agreement`s goals.
3. Financial support
Developed countries are expected to provide financial support to developing countries to help them transition to low-carbon economies and adapt to the impacts of climate change.
4. Technology transfer
Developed countries are expected to assist developing countries in the transfer of technology that can help them reduce emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.
The Paris Environment Agreement was a significant milestone in the fight against climate change. However, it is just the beginning. The world needs to continue to work together and take urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit global warming to avoid catastrophic consequences for the planet and its inhabitants.