The Paris Climate Agreement, officially known as the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), was adopted in December 2015. It is a legally binding international treaty that aims to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
The construction of the Paris Climate Agreement was a monumental undertaking, involving years of negotiations among 197 parties. The agreement is built on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, recognizing that developed countries have a greater historical responsibility for causing climate change and therefore should take the lead in reducing emissions and supporting developing countries in their efforts.
The Paris Climate Agreement sets out a number of ambitious goals, including a long-term goal of reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in the second half of this century, and a commitment to keeping global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, with an aim to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
To achieve these goals, the Paris Climate Agreement establishes a framework for global cooperation on climate action, including regular updates of countries’ emissions reduction targets, a transparency and accountability mechanism to track progress, and financial support for developing countries to reduce emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.
The Paris Climate Agreement has been hailed as a historic achievement for global climate action, but it is not without its challenges. One of the key challenges is ensuring that countries follow through on their commitments and take more ambitious action as the science and impacts of climate change become clearer. There is also the question of financing, as developed countries have not yet delivered on their pledge to mobilize $100 billion per year in climate finance for developing countries by 2020.
Despite these challenges, the Paris Climate Agreement is a critical milestone in the global effort to address climate change. With the backing of nearly every country in the world, it provides a framework for cooperation and action that is urgently needed to protect the future of our planet. By accelerating the transition to a low-carbon economy, supporting the most vulnerable communities, and investing in the technologies and innovations that will drive sustainable development, we can create a safer, healthier, and more prosperous future for all.