The Paris Agreement is an environmental agreement that was adopted by almost all nations in 2015 to combat climate change and its negative effects. The agreement aims to significantly reduce global greenhouse gas emissions in order to limit global temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels this century, while continuing to pursue ways to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees. The agreement provides for the commitment of all major emitters to reduce their pollution from climate change and to strengthen these commitments over time. It provides developed countries with a means to assist developing countries in their mitigation and adaptation efforts and establishes a framework for monitoring, reporting and strengthening countries` individual and collective climate goals. On October 5, 2016, when the agreement reached enough signatures to cross the threshold, U.S. President Barack Obama said, “Even if we achieve all the goals… we will only get to part of where we need to go. He also said that “this agreement will help delay or avoid some of the worst consequences of climate change.” It will help other nations reduce their emissions over time and set bolder goals as technology progresses, all under a strong transparency system that will allow each nation to assess the progress of all other nations.   INDCs become NSCs – nationally determined contributions – as soon as a country formally adheres to the agreement. There are no specific requirements as to how or how many countries should reduce emissions, but there were political expectations about the nature and rigour of the targets set by different countries. As a result, the scale and ambition of national plans vary widely, largely reflecting each country`s capacity, level of development and contribution to emissions over time. China, for example, has committed to cleaning up its CO2 emissions by 2030 at the latest and reducing CO2 emissions per unit of gross domestic product (GDP) by 60-65% by 2030 from 2005 levels. India has set a target of reducing emissions intensity by 33-35% from 2005 levels by 2030 and producing 40% of its electricity from non-fossil fuels.
It is rare that there is a consensus among almost all nations on a single subject. But with the Paris agreement, world leaders agreed that climate change was driven by human behaviour, that it was a threat to the environment and to humanity as a whole, and that global action was needed to stop it. In addition, a clear framework has been put in place for all countries to make commitments to reduce emissions and strengthen these measures over time. Here are some important reasons why this agreement is so important: currently, 197 countries – each nation on earth, the last signatory being war-torn Syria – have adopted the Paris Agreement. 179 of them have consolidated their climate proposals with official approval, including, for the time being, the United States.