The Paris Agreement is an international treaty that aims to limit the global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further, to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The agreement also seeks to strengthen the ability of countries to deal with the impacts of climate change, and to provide financial and technological support to developing countries so that they can transition to a low-carbon economy.
The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 by the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which includes nearly every country in the world. As of 2021, 197 parties have ratified the agreement.
The targets set by the Paris Agreement are known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). Each country is required to submit an NDC every five years, outlining their climate mitigation and adaptation plans. The first round of NDCs were submitted in 2015, and the second round are due in 2020.
The NDCs are a critical part of the Paris Agreement, as they are the primary means by which the agreement will be implemented. The NDCs provide a roadmap for each country to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change. The NDCs are also intended to be a living document, with countries able to update and improve their targets over time.
The Paris Agreement has been widely praised as a historic achievement in the fight against climate change. However, many experts argue that the targets set by the agreement are not ambitious enough to avoid catastrophic climate change. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius will require rapid and far-reaching changes in the way we produce and consume energy, as well as significant investments in carbon capture and storage, reforestation, and other climate mitigation measures.
Despite these challenges, the Paris Agreement remains a critical tool in the fight against climate change. By bringing nearly every country in the world together to address this global crisis, the agreement represents a powerful symbol of international cooperation and solidarity. Moreover, the Paris Agreement has already spurred significant progress in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and other climate mitigation measures, providing a foundation for further action in the years ahead.
As copy editors, it is important to stay up-to-date on the latest developments in climate policy and to ensure that our articles are both accurate and relevant to our readers. By understanding the Paris Agreement and its climate targets, we can help to raise awareness of the urgent need to address climate change, and to encourage policymakers and individuals alike to take action to protect our planet.