In December of 2015, representatives from 195 countries gathered in Paris to negotiate a global agreement on climate change. Negotiations were intense, lasting for two weeks, but ultimately resulted in the Paris Climate Agreement. This historic agreement was aimed at reducing global greenhouse gas emissions and limiting global warming.
So, what exactly was agreed upon at the Paris Climate Agreement? Here are some of the key points:
1. Limiting global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius: The Paris Climate Agreement set a goal of limiting global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels. It also aimed to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit).
2. Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs): Each country agreed to submit their own Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), outlining their plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change. These NDCs were not legally binding, but were meant to serve as a framework for global action on climate change.
3. Green Climate Fund: Developed countries agreed to provide financial support to developing countries to help them reduce emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change. The Green Climate Fund was established to support this effort.
4. Transparency and accountability: The Paris Climate Agreement included provisions for transparency and accountability, aimed at ensuring that countries honor their commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and take steps to address climate change.
5. Long-term goal: The Paris Climate Agreement also set a long-term goal of achieving a balance between greenhouse gas emissions and removals by the second half of the century.
While the Paris Climate Agreement was a significant step forward in the fight against climate change, it was not without its critics. Some argued that the agreement did not go far enough in terms of reducing emissions and holding countries accountable for their actions. Others pointed out that withdrawing from the agreement, as the United States did in 2019, could undermine its effectiveness.
Despite these criticisms, the Paris Climate Agreement remains an important milestone in international efforts to address climate change. Its ambitious goals and provisions for transparency and accountability serve as a framework for global action on this urgent issue.