Why The Paris Agreement Is Important

It is rare that there is a consensus among almost all nations on a single subject. But with the Paris agreement, world leaders agreed that climate change was driven by human behaviour, that it was a threat to the environment and to humanity as a whole, and that global action was needed to stop it. In addition, a clear framework has been put in place for all countries to make commitments to reduce emissions and strengthen these measures over time. Here are some main reasons why the agreement is so important: the Paris Agreement has a bottom-up structure, unlike most international environmental treaties that are “top down”, characterized by internationally defined standards and objectives and which must be implemented by states. [32] Unlike its predecessor, the Kyoto Protocol, which sets legal commitment targets, the Paris Agreement, which focuses on consensual training, allows for voluntary and national objectives. [33] Specific climate targets are therefore politically promoted and not legally binding. Only the processes governing reporting and revision of these objectives are imposed by international law. This structure is particularly noteworthy for the United States – in the absence of legal mitigation or funding objectives, the agreement is seen as an “executive agreement, not a treaty.” Since the 1992 UNFCCC treaty was approved by the Senate, this new agreement does not require further legislation from Congress for it to enter into force. [33] This fact was seen as a major drawback of the agreement. Having a pact, even if it involves all the countries of the world, is not worth much if we do not include the rules and mechanisms to guide progress and hold countries to account. It`s easy to explain that you want to take care of sustainability and move to renewable energy (almost everyone does it today), but without responsibility, the results remain questionable.

Without these strict rules and clear mechanisms, all commitments and critical objectives are likely to be big words on paper. These rules of transparency and accountability are similar to those set out in other international agreements. Although the system does not include financial sanctions, the requirements are intended to easily monitor the progress of individual nations and promote a sense of overall group pressure, discouraging any towing of feet among countries that might consider it. The president`s promise to renegotiate the international climate agreement has always been a smokescreen, the oil industry has a red phone at the Home Office, and will Trump bring food trucks to Old Faithful? Of the 196 negotiating countries that signed the agreement, 185 parties and the European Union, which accounts for more than 88% of global emissions, have ratified it to date.