On December 12, 2015, the historic Paris Climate Agreement was signed by 197 countries. This agreement is a legally binding treaty that aims to combat climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and limiting global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The Paris Agreement has been hailed as a major milestone in the fight against climate change, but its success depends on countries fulfilling their commitments.
The Paris Agreement entered into force on November 4, 2016, 30 days after at least 55 countries representing at least 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions ratified it. As of September 2021, 191 of the 197 signatories have ratified the agreement, including all three of the world`s largest emitters: China, the United States, and India. This means that the Paris Agreement has near-universal participation and support, which is crucial for achieving its goals.
The Paris Agreement requires each country to submit a nationally determined contribution (NDC) outlining its commitments to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. These commitments will be reviewed every five years, with the aim of increasing ambition over time. The Paris Agreement also establishes a global stocktake every five years to assess progress towards the goal of limiting global warming.
Many countries have already taken significant steps towards fulfilling their commitments under the Paris Agreement. For example, the European Union recently announced that it aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. China has pledged to peak its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. The United States has rejoined the Paris Agreement under the Biden administration and aims to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
However, some countries have been criticized for not doing enough to meet their commitments under the Paris Agreement. For example, Australia has been criticized for its lack of action on climate change, including its reliance on coal and its weak targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Similarly, Brazil has been criticized for its deforestation of the Amazon rainforest, which releases large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
In conclusion, the Paris Climate Agreement is a crucial tool in the fight against climate change, and its near-universal participation and support demonstrate the global commitment to this issue. However, countries must continue to take strong action to fulfill their commitments under the agreement, and the global community must work together to ensure that the goals of the Paris Agreement are met.