The Paris Agreement- an accord binding 196 nations to take on climate change.

The Paris Agreement was formed keeping in mind the current situation of climate change. Climate change is a worldwide phenomenon with local consequences. Signs of global warming can be seen in all parts of the world. No one is to spare here. Individual action is necessary but even world leaders need to take higher responsibility. The government needs to step up and make reforms in-laws and regulations. They can play the role to see the utmost checks and balances. 

Any individual country cannot take this responsibility. It needs to be a collective effort of all countries possible. Developed, developing or underdeveloped, all countries are contributors to global warming. There needs to be some kind of binding contract between these countries to keep their goals in check.

WHAT IS THE PARIS AGREEMENT ON CLIMATE CHANGE?

Paris Agreement on climate change

Source: Natural Resources Defense Council Official Website

In 2015, a total of 196 nations came together to sign the Paris Agreement. The Paris Agreement is an international accord adopted with a common goal to fight global climate change. The main goals include, to reduce greenhouse gases emissions and limit global temperature increases. This treaty binds them to work together and achieve the common interest. Developing countries in a way can give their assistance in the form of data, finance and technology to developing countries.

The pact also draws a framework to not only promote transparency but also climate mitigation and adaptation efforts. It has a committee that monitors, reports and invests in individual and collective climate targets. It is a landmark in multilateral relations of the countries for a shared intent of positive change.

ESTABLISHMENT OF PARIS AGREEMENT ON CLIMATE CHANGE :

After two weeks of negotiations, a final framework was prepared. The final wording was adopted at the conclusion of Conference Of Parties 21, on 12 December 2015. 195 UNFCCC participating member states and the European Union were a part of this. On 22 April 2016, the treaty opened for signing. It received 175 signatures on the first day itself. On 1 April 2010, countries like America and China, the highest contributors to global emissions, confirmed their participation. The Paris agreement could not have been bought into effect until 55 countries representing at least 55% of global emissions formally joined in. The agreement went into force 30 days later on November 4, 2016.

MEMBER PARTIES:

197 countries of Paris Agreement on Climate Change

Since its formation, 197 countries have signed up the agreement. The latest signatory was the war-torn country of Syria. Middle East countries like Iran, Yemen, Eritrea and Libya are yet to formally ratify with the accord. 

The Paris agreement to fight climate change recently readmitted the USA. Trump officially pulled the USA out in November 2020. After the recent change in government, new president Joe Biden rejoined the treaty on the first day of office.

SUMMARY OF PARIS AGREEMENT:

The Paris Agreement on Climate Change is a short 32-page document with 16 introductory paragraphs and 29 articles. The accord provides a general framework for procedures and operations. It mainly aims at facilitating international collaborations.

Its major objective is to enhance the implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change through:

  1. Limiting global average temperature to below 2 degrees Celsius. Restraining temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius, above pre-industrial levels.

  2. Increase ability to adapt to the adversity of change and foster resilience.

  3. Making consistent finance flows, bridging the gap between poor and rich.

IMPORTANCE OF THE AGREEMENT:

A common track is important to bring all concerned parties on the same page. The treaty binds them together and creates interdependency to achieve the goal. Many member nations are also part of bilateral relations, apart from this multilateral relation. The result is too important to achieve with a common consensus. There might not be equal responsibility for creating global warming. As a result, the impact is still far or more the same in all parts. This calls for equal action and acceptance from each stakeholder.

COST AND FINANCES:

The Paris agreement initially started with the goal to scale up public and private finance. To fight climate change, $100 billion were to be raised, for developing nations. They put the Green Climate Fund in place to help mobilize personal finance. They have only raised $79 billion till 2019. There might be high costs for future reduction of emissions. On the plus side, there are advances in energy efficiency and the huge costs of public health and economy. Researchers claim that the costs of controlling climate change far outweigh the cost of climate inaction

Cost and finances for Paris Agreement

WHAT’S IN STORE AHEAD:

Even after a few years, many countries are failing to keep up with the set goals. For achieving the set goals the accord is just a base. Apart from that, countries need to work better internally too. The Covid pandemic has created changes in this path.  Overcoming this situation, countries need to develop more ambitious targets and accelerate their interests. At the next COP’26, countries need to change their course and regroup with sound knowledge and better strategies. The agreement will be achievable only with equal contribution and co-operation from all members, from citizens to world leaders. 

Read more related to climate change: How covid has affected Climate change

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India’s climate change and environmental laws 

Paris agreement - the way ahead

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