Nations of the World Come Together in Paris Climate Agreement

Basics of the Paris Climate Agreement

The Paris Climate Agreement is an international agreement organized by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The focus of the Paris Climate Agreement is for nations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on a global level. The agreement received support from 197 nations.

Key Components of the Agreement

The key objectives for the agreement are as follows:

  • Long-term temperature goal – This reaffirms the goal of limiting global temperature increase to under 2 degrees Celsius. Nations will also pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees.
  • Global peaking – Nations have agreed to reach global peak of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible.
  • Mitigation – The Paris Climate Agreement sets commitments for all Parties to prepare, communicate and maintain a nationally determined contribution as well as domestic measures to achieve them.
  • Sinks and reservoirs – Nations are encouraged to establish sinks capable of drawing down greenhouse gasses.
  • Market and non-markets – Nations will establish a means to contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. They will also pursue sustainable development practices.
  • Adaptation – The agreement sets goals for nations to adapt to climate change.
  • Loss and damage – The Paris Climate Agreement has language that enhances developing nations’ ability to handle the negative impacts of climate change.
  • Support – The agreement establishes that developed nations will provide support to less developed nations. It also establishes a financial mechanism.
  • Transparency – All nations agreed to transparency.
  • Global “Stocktake” – All nations agree to a recurring status every 5-years starting in 2023. The objective is to measure progress towards objectives.

Central Theme of Global Response to Climate Change

Central to the Paris Climate Agreement is the notion that only a global response to human-induced climate change will work.

As of October 2016, 112 nations had ratified the agreement. As a result, the agreement has moved into effect and in force on November 4, 2016.