Paris Agreement: Simplified

‘Paris Agreement’ is mentioned whenever someone speaks about ‘climate change’ or ‘global warming’. Why is Paris Agreement so important? This post is a beginner’s guide to Paris Agreement (2015).

Climate Change: a reality?

  • Mostly because of human actions, the concentration of gases like Carbon-di-oxide, Methane etc has increased in earth’s atmosphere and has resulted in phenomena called Green House Effect.
  • Because of Green House Effect, the average global temperature has increased, which is known as Global Warming.
  • The 2016 average temperatures were about 1.3 °C (2.3 degrees Fahrenheit) above the average in 1880 when global record-keeping began.
  • It is estimated that the difference between today’s temperature and the last ice age is about 5°C.
  • Global Warming is dangerous all life on earth.
  • The only way to deal with the change in climate is to reduce the emission of Green House Gases (GHGs) like Carbon Di Oxide and Methane.

What is Paris Agreement?

  • In short, Paris Agreement is an international agreement to combat climate change.
  • From 30 November to 11 December 2015, the governments of 195 nations gathered in Paris, France, and discussed a possible new global agreement on climate change, aimed at reducing global greenhouse gas emissions and thus reduce the threat of dangerous climate change.
  • The 32-page Paris agreement with 29 articles is widely recognized as a historic deal to stop global warming.

Aims of Paris Agreement

As countries around the world recognized that climate change is a reality, they came together to sign a historic deal to combat climate change – Paris Agreement. The aims of Paris Agreement is as below:

  1. Keep the global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial level.
  2. Pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
  3. Strengthen the ability of countries to deal with the impacts of climate change.

It may seem a small change in temperature but this can mean a big difference for the Earth!

Paris Agreement: Things to note

  • In French, the Paris Agreement is known as L’accord de Paris.
  • The key vision of Paris Agreement is to keep global temperatures “well below” 2.0C (3.6F) above pre-industrial times and “endeavour to limit” them even more, to 1.5C.
  • Paris Accord talks about limiting the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by human activity to the same levels that trees, soil and oceans can absorb naturally, beginning at some point between 2050 and 2100.
  • It also mentions the need to review each country’s contribution to cutting emissions every five years so they scale up to the challenge.
  • Rich countries should help poorer nations by providing “climate finance” to adapt to climate change and switch to renewable energy.
  • The Paris Agreement has a ‘bottom up’ structure in contrast to most international environmental law treaties which are ‘top down.
  • The agreement is binding in some elements like reporting requirements, while leaving other aspects of the deal such as the setting of emissions targets for any individual country as non-binding.

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