We all are aware that climate change has become a significant concern. Every day, new actions have been taken to regain control of the situation. The Paris agreement is one such step. So, do you know what this agreement entails? Or, more importantly, what preventive actions have been agreed upon in this pact to save our planet?
If you’re not familiar with this and want to learn more, you’ve come to the right place. Read this article to learn everything there is to know about this crucial deal.
Let’s first read what this agreement is about. The Paris agreement, widely known as the Paris climate agreement or COP21, is an international treaty signed in December 2015 in Paris, France, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming.
The agreement aimed to upgrade and substitute the Kyoto Protocol, a previous international accord aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It was accepted by 195 countries and approved by 190 as of January 2021, and it went into effect on November 4, 2016.
Until now, it has been evident that the Paris Agreement is a massive step forward in the fight against climate change. Let’s continue reading to learn more about the primary features of this agreement.
Key Characteristics Of Paris Agreement
The significant principles of the Paris Agreement are as follows:
1. Long Term Temperature Goal
To enhance the global response to climate change, the Paris Agreement reaffirms the objective of keeping global warming under 2 ° C while also continuing to keep it below 1.5 °.
2. Global Peaking And Climate Neutrality
Parties aim to achieve global peaking of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as soon as possible while acknowledging that peaking will take longer for developing country Parties. To balance anthropogenic GHG emissions from sources and removals from sinks in the second half of the century.
All Members are required by the Paris Agreement to draft, interact, and manage a nationally determined contribution (NDC) and take internal actions to accomplish them.
4. Awareness Related To Climate Change
Improving climate change teaching, training, awareness campaigns, public involvement, and public availability of information, among other things, is a significant aspect of the accord.
In the Treaty’s temperature objective framework, the Paris Agreement established a global objective on adaptation – building adaptive potential, boosting resilience, and lowering susceptibility to climate change.
6. Loss And Damage
The Paris Agreement emphasizes the need to avoid, limit, and resolve loss and damage caused by climate change’s harmful effects, such as severe weather occurrences and slow-onset events, and the contribution of sustainability in decreasing the risk of damages and losses.
7. Transparency, Implementation, And Compliance
The Paris Agreement depends on a comprehensive openness and accounting system that can provide insight on Parties’ actions and assistance while also allowing for versatility in their capabilities.
The seven aspects stated above are fundamental facets of the Paris Agreement, or to put it another way, these features define the Paris Agreement. The question now arises, how well is this agreement working? How effective has this agreement been in bringing climate change under control? Let’s have a look at what it has accomplished.
What Has It Accomplished So Far, And How Is It Presently?
If we look at the present scenario, we will see that a continuous increase in climate change action is still required to meet the Paris Agreement’s goals. But, it is also true that the decades since it came into force have already spawned low-carbon solutions and emerging markets.
Carbon neutrality goals have been set in many places. Zero-carbon alternatives are becoming more attractive across various economic sectors that account for 25% of total emissions. This development is undeniable in the electricity and transportation sectors, and it has opened up a slew of new possibilities for those who get in early.
Christiana Figueres led the United Nations office that oversaw discussions resulting in the Paris agreement. The goal was to build a flexible system that could respond to country economies, technology, and political determination changes. She pointed out that this flexibility has lately enabled many countries to enhance their original commitments by vowing to reduce net climate emissions to nil until 2050.
The goal of this agreement was to make the world “climate-neutral” by the end of the decade. This involves lowering greenhouse gas emissions to the greatest extent possible and compensating for any remaining emissions by removing them from the atmosphere via natural or manmade processes.
As stated above, although some tasks are still in the process, many have already been achieved. As a result, It wouldn’t be wrong to say that the Paris Agreement is a big and important step in the fight against climate change in world history.
The author has done a master's in Environmental science and is currently working as chief Environmental Advisor with New Delhi State Government.
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