The Paris Agreement on climate change was signed in December 2015, by nearly 200 countries that agreed to keep global warming below the dangerous threshold of 2°C. The agreement is a landmark international agreement that aims to address the urgent need to combat climate change and its impacts on the planet and human societies.
The Paris Agreement is the successor to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which laid the groundwork for international action on climate change. However, the Kyoto Protocol was limited in scope and only covered developed countries, leaving out major emitters like the United States, China, and India.
The Paris Agreement, on the other hand, is a universal agreement that includes all countries, whether they are developed or developing. It is based on a bottom-up approach, where each country sets its own emission reduction targets and commits to implementing measures to reach those targets. This approach allows for flexibility and accommodates the specific circumstances of each country.
The overarching goal of the Paris Agreement is to limit global warming to well below 2°C and to pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. This goal is based on scientific evidence that shows that global warming above these thresholds would have severe and devastating impacts on the planet, including rising sea levels, stronger storms, and more intense heatwaves.
The Paris Agreement also includes provisions on transparency, accountability, and support. Countries are required to regularly report on their emission reduction efforts and progress towards their targets, as well as provide financial and technical support to developing countries to help them transition to low-carbon economies and adapt to the impacts of climate change.
The Paris Agreement has been widely recognized as a significant achievement in international cooperation on climate change. However, it is also recognized that much more needs to be done to achieve its goals. The current commitments made by countries are not enough to limit global warming to below 2°C, and urgent action is needed to scale up efforts and implement more ambitious and transformative actions.
In conclusion, the Paris Agreement on climate change is a landmark international agreement that aims to address the urgent need to combat climate change and its impacts on the planet and human societies. It is based on a bottom-up approach that accommodates the specific circumstances of each country and includes provisions on transparency, accountability, and support. While it represents a significant achievement in international cooperation, much more needs to be done to achieve its ambitious goals.