Paris Agreement

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Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
ParisAgreement.svg
  State parties
  Signatories
  Agreement does not apply
Drafted 30 November – 12 December 2015 in Le Bourget, France
Signed22 April 2016
Location Paris, France
Effective4 November 2016 [1] [2]
ConditionRatification and accession by 55 UNFCCC parties, accounting for 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions
Signatories195 [1]
Parties191 [1] (list)
Depositary Secretary-General of the United Nations
LanguagesArabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish
Wikisource-logo.svg Paris Agreement at Wikisource

The Paris Agreement (French : l'accord de Paris) [3] is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), on climate change mitigation, adaptation, and finance, signed in 2016. The agreement's language was negotiated by representatives of 196 state parties at the 21st Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC in Le Bourget, near Paris, France, and adopted by consensus on 12 December 2015. [4] [5] As of February 2021, 191 members of the UNFCCC are parties to the agreement. [1] Of the seven UNFCCC member states which have never ratified the agreement, the only major emitters are Iran, Turkey and Iraq. [1] [6] The United States withdrew from the agreement in 2020, but accepted it again and officially rejoined it on 19 February 2021.

Contents

The Paris Agreement's long-term temperature goal is to keep the increase in global average temperature to well below 2 °C (3.6 °F) above pre-industrial levels; and to pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 °C (2.7 °F), recognizing that this would substantially reduce the risks and impacts of climate change. This should be done by reducing emissions as soon as possible, in order to "achieve a balance between anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases" in the second half of the 21st century. [7] It also aims to increase the ability of parties to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change, and make "finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development." [8]

Under the Paris Agreement, each country must determine, plan, and regularly report on the contribution that it undertakes to mitigate global warming. [9] No mechanism forces [10] a country to set a specific emissions target by a specific date, [11] but each target should go beyond previously set targets.

Content

Aims

The aim of the agreement is to decrease global warming described in its Article 2, "enhancing the implementation" of the UNFCCC through: [12]

(a) Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change;

(b) Increasing the ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change and foster climate resilience and low greenhouse gas emissions development, in a manner that does not threaten food production;

(c) Making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development.

This strategy involved energy and climate policy including the so-called 20/20/20 targets, namely the reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 20%, the increase of renewable energy's market share to 20%, and a 20% increase in energy efficiency. [13]

Countries furthermore aim to reach "global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible". The agreement has been described as an incentive for and driver of fossil fuel divestment. [14] [15]

The Paris deal is the world's first comprehensive climate agreement. [16]

Nationally determined contributions

Global carbon dioxide emissions by jurisdiction. [17] [18]

  China (28%)
  United States (14%)
  European Economic Area (10%)
  India (7%)
  Russia (5%)
  Japan (3%)
  Other (33%)

The contributions each country should make to achieve the worldwide goal are determined by that country and are called nationally determined contributions (NDC). [9] Article 3 requires them to be "ambitious", "represent a progression over time" and set "with the view to achieving the purpose of this Agreement". The contributions should be reported every five years and are to be registered by the UNFCCC Secretariat. [19] Each further ambition should be more ambitious than the previous one, known as the principle of 'progression'. [20] Countries can cooperate and pool their nationally determined contributions. The Intended Nationally Determined Contributions pledged during the 2015 Climate Change Conference serve—unless provided otherwise—as the initial Nationally determined contribution.

The level of NDCs set by each country [11] will set that country's targets. However the 'contributions' themselves are not binding as a matter of international law, as they lack the specificity, normative character,[ clarification needed ] or obligatory language necessary to create binding norms. [21] Furthermore, there will be no mechanism to force [10] a country to set a target in their NDC by a specific date and no enforcement if a set target in an NDC is not met. [11] [22] There will be only a "name and shame" system [23] or as János Pásztor, the U.N. assistant secretary-general on climate change, told CBS News (US), a "name and encourage" plan. [24] As the agreement provides no consequences if countries do not meet their commitments, consensus of this kind is fragile. A trickle of nations exiting the agreement could trigger the withdrawal of more governments, bringing about a total collapse of the agreement. [25]

The NDC Partnership was launched at COP22 in Marrakesh to enhance cooperation so that countries have access to the technical knowledge and financial support they need to achieve large-scale climate and sustainable development targets. The NDC Partnership is guided by a Steering Committee composed of developed and developing nations and international institutions, and facilitated by a Support Unit hosted by the World Resources Institute and based in Washington, DC and Bonn, Germany. The NDC Partnership is co-chaired by the governments of Costa Rica and the Netherlands and includes 93 member countries,21 institutional partners and ten associate members.

Global stocktake

Map of cumulative per capita anthropogenic atmospheric CO2 emissions by country. Cumulative emissions include land use change, and are measured between the years 1950 and 2000. CO2 responsibility 1950-2000.svg
Map of cumulative per capita anthropogenic atmospheric CO2 emissions by country. Cumulative emissions include land use change, and are measured between the years 1950 and 2000.

The global stocktake kicked off with a "facilitative dialogue" in 2018. At this convening, parties will evaluate how their NDCs stack up to the nearer-term goal of peaking global emissions and the long-term goal of achieving net zero emissions by the second half of this century. [26] [ needs update ]

The implementation of the agreement by all member countries together will be evaluated every 5 years, with the first evaluation in 2023. The outcome is to be used as input for new nationally determined contributions of member states. [27] The stocktake will not be of contributions/achievements of individual countries but a collective analysis of what has been achieved and what more needs to be done.

The stocktake works as part of the Paris Agreement's effort to create a "ratcheting up" of ambition in emissions cuts. Because analysts agreed in 2014 that the NDCs would not limit rising temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius, the global stocktake reconvenes parties to assess how their new NDCs must evolve so that they continually reflect a country's "highest possible ambition". [26]

While ratcheting up the ambition of NDCs is a major aim of the global stocktake, it assesses efforts beyond mitigation. The 5-year reviews will also evaluate adaptation, climate finance provisions, and technology development and transfer. [26]

A preliminary study with implications for the stocktake was published in Nature Communications in April 2020. Based on a public policy database and a multi-model scenario analysis, the authors showed that implementation of current policies leaves a median emission gap of 22.4 to 28.2 GtCO2eq by 2030 with the optimal pathways to implement the well below 2 °C and 1.5 °C Paris goals. If Nationally Determined Contributions were to be fully implemented, this gap would be reduced by a third. The countries evaluated were found to not achieve their pledged contributions with implemented policies (implementation gap), or to have an ambition gap with optimal pathways towards well below 2 °C. The study showed that all countries would need to accelerate the implementation of policies for renewable technologies, while efficiency improvements are especially important in emerging countries and fossil-fuel-dependent countries. [28]

Structure

The Paris Agreement has a 'bottom up' structure in contrast to most international environmental law treaties, which are 'top down', characterized by standards and targets set internationally, for states to implement. [29] Unlike its predecessor, the Kyoto Protocol, which sets commitment targets that have legal force, the Paris Agreement, with its emphasis on consensus-building, allows for voluntary and nationally determined targets. [30] The specific climate goals are thus politically encouraged, rather than legally bound. Only the processes governing the reporting and review of these goals are mandated under international law. This structure is especially notable for the United States—because there are no legal mitigation or finance targets, the agreement is considered an "executive agreement rather than a treaty". Because the UNFCCC treaty of 1992 received the consent of the Senate, this new agreement does not require further legislation from Congress for it to take effect. [30]

Another key difference between the Paris Agreement and the Kyoto Protocol is their scopes [ neutrality is disputed ]. While the Kyoto Protocol differentiated between Annex-1 and non-Annex-1 countries, this bifurcation is blurred in the Paris Agreement, as all parties will be required to submit emissions reductions plans. [31] While the Paris Agreement still emphasizes the principle of "Common but Differentiated Responsibility and Respective Capabilities"—the acknowledgement that different nations have different capacities and duties to climate action—it does not provide a specific division between developed and developing nations. [31] It therefore appears that negotiators will have to continue to deal with this issue in future negotiation rounds, even though the discussion on differentiation may take on a new dynamic. [32]

Mitigation provisions and carbon markets

Article 6 has been flagged as containing some of the key provisions of the Paris Agreement. [33] Broadly, it outlines the cooperative approaches that parties can take in achieving their nationally determined carbon emissions reductions. In doing so, it helps establish the Paris Agreement as a framework for a global carbon market. [34]

Linkage of carbon trading systems

Paragraphs 6.2 and 6.3 establish a framework to govern the international transfer of mitigation outcomes (ITMOs). The Agreement recognizes the rights of Parties to use emissions reductions outside of their own jurisdiction toward their NDC, in a system of carbon accounting and trading. [34]

This provision requires the "linkage" of various carbon emissions trading systems—because measured emissions reductions must avoid "double counting", transferred mitigation outcomes must be recorded as a gain of emission units for one party and a reduction of emission units for the other. [33] Because the NDCs, and domestic carbon trading schemes, are heterogeneous, the ITMOs will provide a format for global linkage under the auspices of the UNFCCC. [35] The provision thus also creates a pressure for countries to adopt emissions management systems—if a country wants to use more cost-effective cooperative approaches to achieve their NDCs, they will need to monitor carbon units for their economies. [36]

Sustainable Development Mechanism

Paragraphs 6.4-6.7 establish a mechanism "to contribute to the mitigation of greenhouse gases and support sustainable development". [37] Though there is no specific name for the mechanism as yet, many Parties and observers have informally coalesced around the name "Sustainable Development Mechanism" or "SDM". [38] [39] The SDM is considered to be the successor to the Clean Development Mechanism, a flexible mechanism under the Kyoto Protocol, by which parties could collaboratively pursue emissions reductions for their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions. The Sustainable Development Mechanism lays the framework for the future of the Clean Development Mechanism post-Kyoto (in 2020).[ needs update ]

In its basic aim, the SDM will largely resemble the Clean Development Mechanism, with the dual mission to 1. contribute to global GHG emissions reductions and 2. support sustainable development. [ neutrality is disputed ] [40] Though the structure and processes governing the SDM are not yet determined, certain similarities and differences from the Clean Development Mechanisms can already be seen. Notably, the SDM, unlike the Clean Development Mechanism, will be available to all parties as opposed to only Annex-1 parties, making it much wider in scope. [41]

Since the Kyoto Protocol went into force, the Clean Development Mechanism[ clarification needed ] has been criticized for failing to produce either meaningful emissions reductions or sustainable development benefits in most instances. [42] It has also suffered from the low price of Certified Emissions Reductions (CERs), creating less demand for projects. These criticisms have motivated the recommendations of various stakeholders, who have provided through working groups and reports, new elements they hope to see in SDM that will bolster its success. [35] The specifics of the governance structure, project proposal modalities, and overall design were expected to come during the 2016 Conference of the Parties in Marrakesh.[ needs update ]

Adaptation provisions

Adaptation issues garnered more focus in the formation of the Paris Agreement. Collective, long-term adaptation goals are included in the Agreement, and countries must report on their adaptation actions, making adaptation a parallel component of the agreement with mitigation. [43] The adaptation goals focus on enhancing adaptive capacity, increasing resilience, and limiting vulnerability. [44]

Ensuring finance

At the Paris Conference in 2015 where the Agreement was negotiated, the developed countries reaffirmed the commitment to mobilize $100 billion a year in climate finance by 2020, and agreed to continue mobilizing finance at the level of $100 billion a year until 2025. [45] The commitment refers to the pre-existing plan to provide US$100 billion a year in aid to developing countries for actions on climate change adaptation and mitigation. [46]

Though both mitigation and adaptation require increased climate financing, adaptation has typically received lower levels of support and has mobilized less action from the private sector. [43] A 2014 report by the OECD found that just 16 percent of global finance was directed toward climate adaptation in 2014. [47] The Paris Agreement called for a balance of climate finance between adaptation and mitigation, and specifically underscored the need to increase adaptation support for parties most vulnerable to the effects of climate change, including Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States. The agreement also reminds parties of the importance of public grants, because adaptation measures receive less investment from the public sector. [43] John Kerry, as Secretary of State, announced that the U.S. would double its grant-based adaptation finance by 2020. [30]

Some specific outcomes of the elevated attention to adaptation financing in Paris include the G7 countries' announcement to provide US$420 million for Climate risk insurance, and the launching of a Climate Risk and Early Warning Systems (CREWS) Initiative. [48] In 2016, the Obama administration gave a $500 million grant to the "Green Climate Fund" as "the first chunk of a $3 billion commitment made at the Paris climate talks." [49] [50] [51] So far,[ when? ] the Green Climate Fund has received over $10 billion in pledges. Notably, the pledges come from developed nations like France, the US, and Japan, but also from developing countries such as Mexico, Indonesia, and Vietnam. [30]

Loss and damage

A new issue that emerged [52] as a focal point in the Paris negotiations rose from the fact that many of the worst effects of climate change will be too severe or come too quickly to be avoided by adaptation measures. The Paris Agreement specifically acknowledges the need to address loss and damage of this kind, and aims to find appropriate responses. [53] It specifies that loss and damage can take various forms—both as immediate impacts from extreme weather events, and slow onset impacts, such as the loss of land to sea-level rise for low-lying islands. [30]

The push to address loss and damage as a distinct issue in the Paris Agreement came from the Alliance of Small Island States and the Least Developed Countries, whose economies and livelihoods are most vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change. [30] Developed countries, however, worried that classifying the issue as one separate and beyond adaptation measures would create yet another climate finance provision, or might imply legal liability for catastrophic climate events.

In the end, all parties acknowledged the need for "averting, minimizing, and addressing loss and damage" but notably, any mention of compensation or liability is excluded. [12] The agreement also adopts the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage, an institution that will attempt to address questions about how to classify, address, and share responsibility for loss. [53]

Enhanced transparency framework

While each Party's NDC is not legally binding, the Parties are legally bound to have their progress tracked by technical expert review to assess achievement toward the NDC, and to determine ways to strengthen ambition. [54] Article 13 of the Paris Agreement articulates an "enhanced transparency framework for action and support" that establishes harmonized monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) requirements. Thus, both developed and developing nations must report every two years on their mitigation efforts, and all parties will be subject to both technical and peer review. [54]

While the enhanced transparency framework is universal, along with the global stocktaking to occur every 5 years, the framework is meant to provide "built-in flexibility" to distinguish between developed and developing countries' capacities. In conjunction with this, the Paris Agreement has provisions for an enhanced framework for capacity building. [55] The agreement recognizes the varying circumstances of some countries, and specifically notes that the technical expert review for each country consider that country's specific capacity for reporting. [55] The agreement also develops a Capacity-Building Initiative for Transparency to assist developing countries in building the necessary institutions and processes for complying with the transparency framework. [55]

There are several ways that flexibility mechanisms can be incorporated into the enhanced transparency framework. The scope, level of detail, or frequency of reporting may all be adjusted and tiered based on a country's capacity. The requirement for in-country technical reviews could be lifted for some less developed or small island developing countries. Ways to assess capacity include financial and human resources in a country necessary for NDC review. [55]

Adoption

Paris Agreement negotiations

The Paris Agreement was opened for signature on 22 April 2016 (Earth Day) at a ceremony in New York. [56] After several European Union states ratified the agreement in October 2016, there were enough countries that had ratified the agreement that produce enough of the world's greenhouse gases for the agreement to enter into force. [57] The agreement went into effect on 4 November 2016. [2]

Negotiations

Within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, legal instruments may be adopted to reach the goals of the convention. For the period from 2008 to 2012, greenhouse gas reduction measures were agreed in the Kyoto Protocol in 1997. The scope of the protocol was extended until 2020 with the Doha Amendment to that protocol in 2012. [58]

During the 2011 United Nations Climate Change Conference, the Durban Platform (and the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action) was established with the aim to negotiate a legal instrument governing climate change mitigation measures from 2020. The resulting agreement was to be adopted in 2015. [59]

Adoption

Heads of delegations at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris. GUSTAVO-CAMACHO-GONZALEZ-L1060274 (23430273715).jpg
Heads of delegations at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris.

At the conclusion of COP 21 (the 21st meeting of the Conference of the Parties, which guides the Conference), on 12 December 2015, the final wording of the Paris Agreement was adopted by consensus by all of the 195 UNFCCC participating member states and the European Union [4] to reduce emissions as part of the method for reducing greenhouse gas. In the 12-page Agreement, [51] the members promised to reduce their carbon output "as soon as possible" and to do their best to keep global warming "to well below 2 °C" [3.6 °F]. [60]

Signature and entry into force

Signing by John Kerry in United Nations General Assembly Hall for the United States Secretary Kerry Holds Granddaughter Dobbs-Higginson on Lap While Signing COP21 Climate Change Agreement at UN General Assembly Hall in New York (26512345421).jpg
Signing by John Kerry in United Nations General Assembly Hall for the United States

The Paris Agreement was open for signature by states and regional economic integration organizations that are parties to the UNFCCC (the Convention) from 22 April 2016 to 21 April 2017 at the UN Headquarters in New York. [61]

The agreement stated that it would enter into force (and thus become fully effective) only if 55 countries that produce at least 55% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions (according to a list produced in 2015) [62] ratify, accept, approve or accede to the agreement. [63] [64] On 1 April 2016, the United States and China, which together represent almost 40% of global emissions, issued a joint statement confirming that both countries would sign the Paris Climate Agreement. [65] [66] 175 Parties (174 states and the European Union) signed the agreement on the first date it was open for signature. [56] [67] On the same day, more than 20 countries issued a statement of their intent to join as soon as possible with a view to joining in 2016. With ratification by the European Union, the Agreement obtained enough parties to enter into effect as of 4 November 2016.

European Union and its member states

Both the EU and its member states are individually responsible for ratifying the Paris Agreement. A strong preference was reported that the EU and its 28 member states deposit their instruments of ratification at the same time to ensure that neither the EU nor its member states engage themselves to fulfilling obligations that strictly belong to the other, [68] and there were fears that disagreement over each individual member state's share of the EU-wide reduction target, as well as Britain's vote to leave the EU might delay the Paris pact. [69] However, the European Parliament approved ratification of the Paris Agreement on 4 October 2016, [57] and the EU deposited its instruments of ratification on 5 October 2016, along with several individual EU member states. [69]

Implementation

The process of translating the Paris Agreement into national agendas and implementation has started. One example is the commitment of the least developed countries (LDCs). The LDC Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Initiative for Sustainable Development, known as LDC REEEI, is set to bring sustainable, clean energy to millions of energy-starved people in LDCs, facilitating improved energy access, the creation of jobs and contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. [70]

Per analysis from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) a carbon "budget" based upon total carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere (versus the rate of annual emission) to limit global warming to 1.5 °C was estimated to be 2.25 trillion tonnes of overall emitted carbon dioxide from the period since 1870. This number is a notable increase from the number estimated by the original Paris Climate accord estimates (of around 2 trillion tonnes total) total carbon emission limit to meet the 1.5 °C global warming target, a target that would be met in the year 2020 at 2017 rates of emission.[ clarification needed ] Additionally, the annual emission of carbon is estimated in 2017 to be at 40 billion tonnes emitted per year. The revised IPCC budget for this was based upon CMIP5 climate model. Estimate models using different base-years also provide other slightly adjusted estimates of a carbon "budget". [71]

In July 2020 the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) announced that it assessed a 20% chance of global warming compared to pre-industrial levels exceeding 1.5 °C in at least one year between 2020 and 2024, with 1.5 °C being a key threshold under the Paris Agreement. [72] [73]

In December 2020, the former chair of the COP 21, Laurent Fabius, argued that the implementation of the Paris Agreement could be bolstered by the adoption of a Global Pact for the Environment. [74] The latter would define the environmental rights and duties of States, individuals and businesses. This project is currently under discussion at the United Nations. [75]

Parties and signatories

As of November 2020, 194 states and the European Union have signed the Agreement. 187 states and the EU, representing about 79% of global greenhouse gas emissions, have ratified or acceded to the Agreement, including China and India, the countries with the 1st and 3rd largest CO2 emissions among UNFCC members. [1] [76] [77] As of January 2021 greenhouse gas emissions by Iran and greenhouse gas emissions by Turkey are both over 1% of the world total. Eritrea, Iraq, South Sudan, Libya and Yemen are the only other countries which have never ratified the agreement.

United States withdrawal and readmittance

Article 28 of the agreement enables parties to withdraw from the agreement after sending a withdrawal notification to the depositary. Notice can be given no earlier than three years after the agreement goes into force for the country. Withdrawal is effective one year after the depositary is notified. Alternatively, the Agreement stipulates that withdrawal from the UNFCCC, under which the Paris Agreement was adopted, would also withdraw the state from the Paris Agreement. The conditions for withdrawal from the UNFCCC are the same as for the Paris Agreement. The agreement does not specify provisions for non-compliance.

On August 4, 2017, the Trump administration delivered an official notice to the United Nations that the U.S. intended to withdraw from the Paris Agreement as soon as it was legally eligible to do so. [78] The formal notice of withdrawal could not be submitted until the agreement was in force for three years for the US, on November 4, 2019. [79] [80] On November 4, 2019, the US government deposited the withdrawal notification with the Secretary General of the United Nations, the depositary of the agreement, and officially withdrew from the Paris climate accord one year later when the withdrawal became effective. [81]

Joe Biden, who defeated Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election, signed an executive order on his first day in office, January 20, 2021, to re-admit the United States into the Paris Agreement. [82] [83] Following the 30-day period set by Article 21.3, the US was readmitted to the Agreement on February 19, 2021. [84] [85] United State Climate Envoy John Kerry took part in virtual events, saying that the US would "earn its way back" into legitimacy in the Paris process. [86] United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres welcomed the return of the United States as restoring the “missing link that weakened the whole". [86]

National communication

A "National Communication" is a type of report submitted by the countries that have ratified the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). [87] Developed countries are required to submit National Communications every four years and developing countries should do so. [88] [89] [90] Some Least Developed Countries have not submitted National Communications in the past 5–15 years, [91] largely due to capacity constraints.

National Communication reports are often several hundred pages long and cover a country's measures to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions as well as a description of its vulnerabilities and impacts from climate change. [92] National Communications are prepared according to guidelines that have been agreed by the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC. The (Intended) Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) that form the basis of the Paris Agreement are shorter and less detailed but also follow a standardized structure and are subject to technical review by experts.

While the United States and Turkey are not part of the agreement, since the countries have not declared an intention to withdraw from the 1992 UNFCCC, as "Annex 1" countries under the UNFCCC they will continue to be obliged to prepare National Communications and an annual greenhouse gas inventory. [93]

Effectiveness and reactions

When the agreement achieved enough signatures to cross the threshold on 5 October 2016, US President Barack Obama claimed that "Even if we meet every target ... we will only get to part of where we need to go." He also said that "this agreement will help delay or avoid some of the worst consequences of climate change. It will help other nations ratchet down their emissions over time, and set bolder targets as technology advances, all under a strong system of transparency that allows each nation to evaluate the progress of all other nations." [94] [95]

Effect on temperatures

Global CO2 emissions and probabilistic temperature outcomes of Paris Global CO2 emissions and probabilistic temperature outcomes of Paris.png
Global CO2 emissions and probabilistic temperature outcomes of Paris
Paris climate accord emission reduction targets and real-life reductions offered Paris agreement emission reduction targets.png
Paris climate accord emission reduction targets and real-life reductions offered

The negotiators of the agreement stated that the "Intended Nationally Determined Contributions" (as NDCs were referred to at the time of the negotiations) presented at the time of the Paris Conference were insufficient, noting "with concern that the estimated aggregate greenhouse gas emission levels in 2025 and 2030 resulting from the intended nationally determined contributions do not fall within least-cost 2 °C scenarios but rather lead to a projected level of 55 gigatonnes in 2030", and recognizing furthermore "that much greater emission reduction efforts will be required in order to hold the increase in the global average temperature to below 2 °C by reducing emissions to 40 gigatonnes or to 1.5 °C." [96] [ clarification needed ]

A pair of studies in Nature have said that, as of 2017, none of the major industrialized nations were implementing the policies they had envisioned and they have not met their pledged emission reduction targets, [97] and even if they had, the sum of all member pledges (as of 2016) would not keep global temperature rise "well below 2 °C". [98] [99]

How well each individual country is on track to achieving its Paris agreement commitments is monitored through the Climate Change Performance Index, Climate Action Tracker [100] and the Climate Clock.

According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), with the current climate commitments of the Paris Agreement are relied upon, temperatures will likely have risen by 3.2 °C by the end of the 21st century. To limit global temperature rise to 1.5 °C, annual emissions must be below 25 gigatons (Gt) by 2030. With Nov 2019 commitments, emissions will be 56 Gt CO2e by 2030. To limit global temperature rise to 1.5 °C, the global annual emission reduction needed is 7.6% emissions reduction every year between 2020 and 2030. The top four emitters (China, USA, EU27 and India) contributed to over 55% of the total emissions over the last decade,[ clarification needed ] excluding emissions from land-use change such as deforestation. China's emissions grew 1.6% in 2018 to reach a high of 13.7 Gt of CO2 equivalent. The US emits 13% of global emissions and emissions rose 2.5% in 2018. The EU emits 8.5% of global emissions has declined 1% per year across the last decade. Emissions declined 1.3% in 2018. India's 7% of global emissions grew 5.5% in 2018 but its emissions per capita is one of the lowest within the G20. [101]

Lack of binding enforcement mechanism

Although the agreement was lauded by many, including French President François Hollande and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, [64] criticism has also surfaced. For example, James Hansen, a former NASA scientist and a climate change expert, voiced anger that most of the agreement consists of "promises" or aims and not firm commitments. [102] He called the Paris talks a fraud with 'no action, just promises' and feels that only an across the board tax on CO
2
emissions, something not part of the Paris Agreement, would force CO
2
emissions down fast enough to avoid the worst effects of global warming. [102]

Institutional asset owners associations and think-tanks have also observed that the stated objectives of the Paris Agreement are implicitly "predicated upon an assumption – that member states of the United Nations, including high polluters such as China, the US, India, Russia, Japan, Germany, South Korea, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Indonesia and Mexico, which generate more than half the world's greenhouse gas emissions, will somehow drive down their carbon pollution voluntarily and assiduously without any binding enforcement mechanism to measure and control CO
2
emissions at any level from factory to state, and without any specific penalty gradation or fiscal pressure (for example a carbon tax) to discourage bad behaviour." [103]

See also

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cause global warming.

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    2
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  2. Industrialization of the developing world: As developing nations industrialize their energy needs increase and since conventional energy sources produce CO
    2
    , the CO
    2
    emissions of developing countries are beginning to rise at a time when the scientific community, global governance institutions and advocacy groups are telling the world that CO
    2
    emissions should be decreasing.
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    2
    has not been even among all nation-states, and nation-states have challenges with determining who should restrict emissions and at what point of their industrial development they should be subject to such commitments;
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    2
    over the twentieth century and vulnerable countries perceive that it should be the developed countries that should pay to fix the problem;
  5. Consensus-driven global governance models: The global governance institutions that evolved during the 20th century are all consensus driven deliberative forums where agreement is difficult to achieve and even when agreement is achieved it is almost impossible to enforce;
  6. Well organized and funded special-interest lobbying bodies: Special interest lobbying by well organized groups, such as the fossil fuels lobby, distort and amplify aspects of the challenge.
Individual and political action on climate change

Individual and political action on climate change can take many forms. Many actions aim to build social and political support to limit and reduce the concentration of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere, with the goal of mitigating climate change. Other actions seek to address the ethical and moral aspects of climate justice, especially with regard to the anticipated unequal impacts of climate change adaptation.

After the 2007 United Nations Climate Change Conference held on the island of Bali in Indonesia in December 2007, the participating nations adopted the Bali Road Map as a two-year process working towards finalizing a binding agreement at the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. The conference encompassed meetings of several bodies, including the 13th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the third Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol.

Climate change in China Emissions, impacts and responses of China related to climate change

Climate change in China is having major effects on the economy, society and the environment. China is the largest source of carbon dioxide emissions, through an energy infrastructure heavily focused on fossil fuels and coal. Also, other industries, such as a burgeoning construction industry and industrial manufacturing contribute heavily to carbon emissions. However, like other developing countries, on a per-capita basis, China's carbon emissions were considerably less than countries like the United States: as of 2016, they were the 51st most per capita emitter.

The Copenhagen Accord is a document which delegates at the 15th session of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change agreed to "take note of" at the final plenary on 18 December 2009.

2010 United Nations Climate Change Conference

The 2010 United Nations Climate Change Conference was held in Cancún, Mexico, from 29 November to 10 December 2010. The conference is officially referred to as the 16th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 16) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 6th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties (CMP 6) to the Kyoto Protocol. In addition, the two permanent subsidiary bodies of the UNFCCC — the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) — held their 33rd sessions. The 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference extended the mandates of the two temporary subsidiary bodies, the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP) and the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA), and they met as well.

2013 United Nations Climate Change Conference

The United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP19 or CMP9 was held in Warsaw, Poland from 11 to 23 November 2013. This is the 19th yearly session of the Conference of the Parties to the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 9th session of the Meeting of the Parties to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The conference delegates continue the negotiations towards a global climate agreement. UNFCCC's Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres and Poland's Minister of the Environment Marcin Korolec led the negotiations.

United Nations Climate Change conference

The United Nations Climate Change Conferences are yearly conferences held in the framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). They serve as the formal meeting of the UNFCCC Parties to assess progress in dealing with climate change, and beginning in the mid-1990s, to negotiate the Kyoto Protocol to establish legally binding obligations for developed countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. From 2005 the Conferences have also served as the "Conference of the Parties Serving as the Meeting of Parties to the Kyoto Protocol" (CMP); also parties to the Convention that are not parties to the Protocol can participate in Protocol-related meetings as observers. From 2011 the meetings have also been used to negotiate the Paris Agreement as part of the Durban platform activities until its conclusion in 2015, which created a general path towards climate action.

2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference

The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP 21 or CMP 11 was held in Paris, France, from 30 November to 12 December 2015. It was the 21st yearly session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 11th session of the Meeting of the Parties (CMP) to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.

Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) or Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) are non-binding national plans highlighting climate actions, including climate related targets, policies and measures governments aim to implement in response to climate change and as a contribution to achieve the global targets set out in the Paris Agreement.

2016 United Nations Climate Change Conference

The 2016 United Nations Climate Change Conference was an international meeting of political leaders and activists to discuss environmental issues. It was held in Marrakech, Morocco, on 7–18 November 2016. The conference incorporated the twenty-second Conference of the Parties (COP22), the twelfth meeting of the parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP12), and the first meeting of the parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA1). The purpose of the conference was to discuss and implement plans about combatting climate change and to "[demonstrate] to the world that the implementation of the Paris Agreement is underway". Participants work together to come up with global solutions to climate change.

Article 6 of the Paris Agreement on greenhouse gases enables Parties to cooperate in implementing their nationally determined contributions (NDCs) towards emission reduction. Among other things, this means that emission reductions can be transferred between countries and counted towards NDCs. Agreement on the provisions of Article 6 was reached after intensive negotiations lasting several years.

The history of climate change policy and politics refers to the continuing history of political actions, policies, trends, controversies and activist efforts as they pertain to the issue of global warming and other environmental anomalies. Dryzek, Norgaard, and Schlosberg suggest that critical reflection on the history of climate policy is necessary because it provides 'ways to think about one of the most difficult issues we human beings have brought upon ourselves in our short life on the planet’.

Sustainable Development Goal 13 The 13th of 17 Sustainable Development Goals to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

Sustainable Development Goal 13 is about climate action and is one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations in 2015. The official wording is to "Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts". The Goal has targets to be achieved by 2030. Progress towards targets is measured by indicators.

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Further reading