The Paris Agreement: Understanding the UN Treaty
The Paris Agreement is one of the most significant international treaties in recent history. Adopted by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2015, the agreement aims to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. It also strives to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The Paris Agreement is a legally binding treaty that requires each participating nation to submit a plan outlining their contributions to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. These plans are called Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). Each country`s NDC is different and based on its individual circumstances, capabilities, and resources.
The Paris Agreement officially came into effect on November 4, 2016. To date, 190 parties have ratified the agreement, including the United States, China, India, and the European Union. The only country that has actively withdrawn from the agreement is the United States, which was announced by former President Donald Trump in 2017. However, current President Joe Biden announced in January 2021 that the U.S. would be rejoining the Paris Agreement.
The Paris Agreement has two overarching goals. The first is to keep the global temperature increase below 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. This is to prevent the most catastrophic effects of climate change, such as rising sea levels, stronger storms, and prolonged droughts.
The second goal is to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Although this may seem like a small difference, the impact on our planet is significant. A 1.5-degree increase would protect many of the world`s most vulnerable communities and ecosystems, including small island nations and coral reefs.
The Paris Agreement`s success relies on continued efforts from participating nations to implement their NDCs and increase their ambition over time. The agreement is also a catalyst for innovation and investment in low-carbon technologies and sustainable practices. By working together, we can take the necessary steps to ensure a more sustainable future for ourselves and generations to come.
In conclusion, the Paris Agreement is a critical UN treaty that seeks to limit global warming and prevent catastrophic effects of climate change. It requires all participating nations to submit a plan outlining their contributions to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The treaty has two overarching goals, to keep the global temperature increase below 2 degrees Celsius and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The success of the Paris Agreement relies on continued efforts and investments in sustainable practices and low-carbon technologies.