History of the Paris Agreement

History of the Paris Agreement

The Paris Agreement is a landmark international agreement aimed at tackling climate change. It was adopted by 196 parties in December 2015, at the 21st session of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris, France. The agreement is named after the city where it was signed.

The Paris Agreement seeks to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius. It also aims to enhance countries’ abilities to adapt to the impacts of climate change, and to mobilize finance to support low-carbon and climate-resilient development.

The road to the Paris Agreement began in 1992, when the UNFCCC was created at the Rio Earth Summit. The UNFCCC is a global treaty that has been ratified by almost all countries in the world. It sets out the framework for international cooperation to combat climate change.

In 1997, the Kyoto Protocol was adopted as a legally binding agreement under the UNFCCC. It required developed countries to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases by an average of 5.2% below 1990 levels by the year 2012. However, the United States, one of the world’s largest emitters, did not ratify the treaty, and Canada withdrew from it in 2012.

The Copenhagen Climate Conference in 2009 was intended to produce a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, but it failed to reach a binding agreement. This led to a loss of trust between developed and developing countries, and a sense of disillusionment with the UNFCCC process.

The Paris Agreement was seen as a way to restore trust and build momentum for international action on climate change. The negotiations leading up to the agreement involved extensive consultations with governments, civil society, and businesses. They also drew on the latest scientific information on climate change, which highlighted the urgency and scale of the challenge.

The Paris Agreement marks a turning point in global efforts to address climate change. It represents a historic achievement in the fight against climate change, by bringing countries together to take effective action to tackle this urgent threat.

Since the Paris Agreement was adopted, many countries have taken action to reduce emissions and build resilience to the impacts of climate change. However, there is still much work to be done to ensure that the world can meet the goals of the agreement and limit global warming to safe levels.

As the world faces growing climate risks, the Paris Agreement remains a beacon of hope and a call to action for all countries to work together for a sustainable and resilient future.

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