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The Paris Agreement: A Comprehensive Guide

In 2015, the world came together to address the pressing issue of global climate change. The result was the Paris Agreement, a landmark international accord aimed at mitigating the effects of our changing climate. But what exactly is the Paris Agreement, and what are its key details?

What is the Paris Agreement?

The Paris Agreement is an international accord signed by 196 countries in order to address the issue of global climate change. Its primary goal is to keep global temperatures from rising more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and to work towards limiting the increase to 1.5°C.

The agreement was reached at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), held in Paris, France from November 30 to December 12, 2015. It was adopted on December 12, and went into effect on November 4, 2016.

What are the key details of the Paris Agreement?

The Paris Agreement is a complex document, but some of its key details include:

1. Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs): Under the Paris Agreement, each country is required to submit a plan outlining their intended actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These plans are known as NDCs, and are updated every five years.

2. Long-term goals: The Paris Agreement sets the goal of limiting global temperature rise to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and pursuing efforts to limit the increase to 1.5°C. It also calls for achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in the second half of the century.

3. Transparency and accountability: The Paris Agreement requires countries to submit regular reports on their emission reductions and progress towards their NDCs. It also establishes a global stocktake every five years to assess progress towards the long-term goals of the agreement.

4. Adaptation and finance: The Paris Agreement recognizes the need for adaptation to the impacts of climate change, particularly for vulnerable countries and communities. It also establishes mechanisms for developed countries to provide financial assistance to developing countries for climate action and adaptation.

What has been the impact of the Paris Agreement?

Since the Paris Agreement went into effect, progress has been made towards reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. However, experts warn that much more needs to be done in order to meet the agreement`s goals and avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

In 2020, the United States, one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases, officially withdrew from the Paris Agreement. This move was widely criticized by the international community, but President Joe Biden has since rejoined the agreement.

In conclusion, the Paris Agreement is a critical international accord aimed at addressing the urgent issue of global climate change. Its key details, including NDCs, long-term goals, transparency and accountability, and adaptation and finance, provide a framework for countries to work together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit the impacts of climate change. However, more action is needed in order to meet the goals of the agreement and ensure a sustainable future for all.