The Paris Climate Agreement, also known as the Paris Agreement or COP21, is a global treaty that aims to combat climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It was adopted by 196 parties at the United Nations Climate Change Conference on December 12, 2015, and came into force on November 4, 2016.
The goal of the Paris Climate Agreement is to limit global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels, and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit). This is in line with the scientific consensus that such an increase is necessary to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, such as more frequent and severe heatwaves, droughts, floods, and storms, as well as rising sea levels, ocean acidification, and biodiversity loss.
To achieve this goal, the Paris Climate Agreement sets out a framework for cooperation and accountability among countries, based on their respective capabilities and responsibilities. It requires all parties to submit national climate action plans, known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), that outline their commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.
The Paris Climate Agreement also establishes a system of transparency and review, designed to enhance the clarity, accuracy, completeness, comparability, and consistency of the information provided by parties. It requires regular reporting and updating of NDCs, as well as the tracking of progress towards the long-term goal, through a global stocktake every five years.
The Paris Climate Agreement recognizes the importance of financing, technology transfer, and capacity building, to support the implementation of NDCs and the achievement of the long-term goal. It calls for developed countries to mobilize at least $100 billion per year by 2020, from a variety of sources, to assist developing countries in their climate actions.
The Paris Climate Agreement also acknowledges the role of non-state actors, such as cities, regions, businesses, and civil society organizations, in contributing to the global effort to address climate change. It encourages their participation and collaboration, through initiatives such as the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action and the Talanoa Dialogue.
In conclusion, the goal of the Paris Climate Agreement is to achieve a sustainable and resilient future for all, by limiting global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius. This requires a collective and ambitious effort from all countries and stakeholders, based on a transparent and accountable framework of cooperation and support. As the world faces increasing climate risks and challenges, the Paris Climate Agreement provides a crucial roadmap for a safer and more prosperous future.