The Paris Agreement, which emerged from the COP-21 climate change conference held in Paris, France in late 2015, was a landmark agreement that saw 196 countries come together and pledge to work towards limiting global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
The agreement represented a breakthrough in international cooperation on climate change, as it was the first time that so many countries had come together to commit to a common goal. The agreement was signed on April 22, 2016, and came into effect on November 4, 2016, after it had been ratified by at least 55 countries that accounted for at least 55% of global emissions.
So what exactly did the Paris Agreement entail? Here are some of the key points:
1. A commitment to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further, to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
2. A pledge by developed countries to mobilize $100 billion per year in climate finance by 2020 to help developing countries transition to low-carbon economies.
3. A commitment by all countries to regularly report on their emissions and their progress towards meeting their climate targets.
4. A recognition of the importance of nature-based solutions, such as reforestation and sustainable land use, in addressing climate change.
5. A commitment to enhance climate resilience and adaptation measures, particularly for the most vulnerable countries and communities.
6. A recognition of the need for a just transition to a low-carbon economy, which takes into account the social and economic impacts of climate action.
Since the Paris Agreement was signed, there have been both positive developments and setbacks. The United States, which was one of the major players in the negotiations that led to the agreement, withdrew from the agreement in 2017 under the Trump administration. However, President Joe Biden has since announced that the US will rejoin the Paris Agreement.
Overall, the Paris Agreement represents an important step forward in the global fight against climate change. While there is still much work to be done, the agreement provides a framework for international cooperation and collaboration towards a more sustainable future.