How Did The Paris Agreement Come About

Currently, 197 countries – every nation on earth, the last signatory is war-torn Syria – have adopted the Paris Agreement. 179 of them have consolidated their climate proposals with official approval, including, for the time being, the United States. The only major emitters that have yet to formally accede to the agreement are Russia, Turkey and Iran. At the 2011 UN Climate Change Conference, the Durban Platform (and the ad hoc working group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action) were created to negotiate a legal instrument to mitigate climate change from 2020. The resulting agreement is expected to be adopted in 2015. [62] The Paris Agreement provides a sustainable framework that determines global efforts for decades to come. The aim is to increase countries` climate ambitions over time. To achieve this, the agreement provides for two review processes, each in a five-year cycle. While the agreement has been welcomed by many, including French President Francois Hollande and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon,[67] criticism has also emerged. James Hansen, a former NASA scientist and climate change expert, expressed anger that most of the agreement is made up of “promises” or goals, not firm commitments. [98] He called the Paris talks a fraud with “nothing, only promises” and believed that only a generalized tax on CO2 emissions, which is not part of the Paris agreement, would force CO2 emissions down fast enough to avoid the worst effects of global warming.

[98] The EU and its member states are individually responsible for ratifying the Paris Agreement. There was a strong preference for the EU and its 28 Member States to simultaneously table their ratification instruments to ensure that neither the EU nor its Member States commit to commitments that belong exclusively to the other[71] and there was concern that there was a disagreement on each Member State`s share of the EU-wide reduction target. just as Britain`s vote to leave the EU could delay the Paris pact. [72] However, on 4 October 2016, the European Parliament approved the ratification of the Paris Agreement[60] and the EU tabled its ratification instruments on 5 October 2016 with several EU Member States. [72] The Kyoto Protocol, the international agreement that preceded the Paris Agreement, was also “under” the UNFCCC, although its provisions largely expired to those of the Paris Agreement. From 30 November to 11 December 2015, France hosted representatives from 196 countries at the end of the Un Climate Change Conference (UN), one of the largest and most ambitious global meetings ever held. The goal was nothing less than a binding and universal agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions to levels that would prevent global temperatures from rising more than 2oC above the lower temperature levels set before the start of the industrial revolution. In an effort to “significantly reduce the risks and effects of climate change,” the agreement calls for the average increase in global temperature over this century to be well below 2 degrees Celsius, while continuing efforts to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees.

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