The Paris Agreement 2015 COP21: What You Need to Know
The Paris Agreement 2015 COP21 was a landmark agreement signed by 195 countries around the world. Its main aim was to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, with a preference for limiting warming to 1.5 degrees.
The agreement was named after the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21), which was held in Paris in December 2015 and hosted by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Why is the Paris Agreement 2015 COP21 important?
The Paris Agreement 2015 COP21 is important because it represents a global commitment to tackle climate change. It acknowledges the scientific evidence that climate change is caused by human activity, and it recognizes the urgent need for action to combat the negative impacts of climate change, such as rising sea levels, more frequent and severe heatwaves and droughts, and increased extreme weather events.
The agreement also sets out a framework for countries to work together to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, with the aim of keeping global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. This is important because if global warming continues unchecked, it could have catastrophic consequences for the planet and its inhabitants.
What are the key features of the Paris Agreement 2015 COP21?
The Paris Agreement 2015 COP21 has several key features, including:
1. Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs): Each country that has signed the agreement is required to submit an NDC, which outlines its plans for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. These plans are reviewed every five years, with the aim of increasing the ambition of the targets over time.
2. Long-term climate goals: The agreement sets a long-term goal of reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by the second half of this century. This means that any remaining emissions will need to be balanced by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through techniques such as reforestation or carbon capture and storage.
3. Climate finance: Developed countries have committed to providing financial support to developing countries to help them reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change. This is important because many developing countries are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, even though they have contributed relatively little to the problem.
4. Transparency and accountability: The agreement includes provisions for transparency and accountability, including regular reporting on greenhouse gas emissions and progress towards achieving NDCs.
What has been the impact of the Paris Agreement 2015 COP21?
Since the signing of the Paris Agreement 2015 COP21, there has been an increased focus on climate action around the world. Many countries have set ambitious targets for reducing their greenhouse gas emissions, and there has been a surge in investment in renewable energy and other low-carbon technologies.
However, the agreement is not without its critics. Some argue that the targets set by countries are not ambitious enough to keep global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius, while others argue that the financial commitments made by developed countries are insufficient.
Nevertheless, the Paris Agreement 2015 COP21 represents a significant step forward in global efforts to combat climate change. It is a testament to the power of international cooperation and the urgency of the challenge we face.