The Paris Agreement: Key Facts You Need to Know
The Paris Agreement is a global climate change agreement that was adopted by 195 countries in December 2015 at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of Parties (COP21). This historic agreement aims to limit global warming to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C.
Here are some key facts you need to know about the Paris Agreement:
1. The Paris Agreement is legally binding
Unlike the Kyoto Protocol, which was not legally binding, the Paris Agreement is legally binding. This means that countries that have signed the agreement are required to take action to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and meet their climate targets.
2. The Paris Agreement is built on contributions from all countries
Unlike previous climate change agreements, the Paris Agreement is built on contributions from all countries, not just developed countries. Each country is required to set its own climate targets, known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), and to report progress on meeting those targets every five years.
3. The Paris Agreement is about more than just reducing emissions
The Paris Agreement is a comprehensive agreement that addresses a range of issues related to climate change, including adaptation, finance, and technology transfer. The agreement recognizes the importance of supporting developing countries in their efforts to address climate change and establishes the Green Climate Fund to support climate action in developing countries.
4. The Paris Agreement entered into force in 2016
The Paris Agreement entered into force on November 4, 2016, just 11 months after it was adopted. This was a significant achievement, as it meant that the agreement had been ratified by enough countries to represent over 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
5. The United States withdrew from the Paris Agreement in 2020
In November 2020, the United States officially withdrew from the Paris Agreement. However, President-elect Joe Biden has pledged to rejoin the agreement once he takes office in January 2021, so the United States may soon be back on board with the global effort to address climate change.
In conclusion, the Paris Agreement is a critical global effort to address climate change that is built on contributions from all countries. While there are still challenges to be overcome, the agreement represents an important step forward in the fight against climate change and the pursuit of a sustainable future for all.