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What is the Paris Agreement?

25/02/2021

Studio Victoria

2 minutes

When talking about achieving zero emissions by the year 2050, you may have briefly ran into the topic of the Paris Agreement in the articles, Race to Zero, Achieving Real Zero Part Two, and what is Real Zero?". The Paris Agreement plays an important role in climate change and in this article we aim to explain what the Paris Agreement is by answering the following questions: What is the Paris Agreement? and How does the Paris Agreement work? Keep reading to find out all about a universal pledge to climate change to #ONEUPYOURBUSINESS!

WHAT IS THE PARIS AGREEMENT?

The Paris Agreement has been implemented by one hundred and six countries at the United Nations climate conference (COP 21) in Paris in 2015. It is a legally binding international treaty on climate change which entered into force in 2016 and marks the first time that countries on Earth have come together with a universal agreement on constraining greenhouse gas emissions to take action on global warming.

Previously it was agreed that countries need to keep global temperatures from increasing more than 2 degree Celsius (3.6 °F) but in the Paris Agreement, governments are now aiming to keep global temperatures ‘well below 2 degrees Celsius’, and ‘make efforts’ to keep it below 1.5 degrees Celsius’.

The pledge to constraining greenhouse gas emissions also includes measures for the richer countries to aid poorer countries with financial and technical assistance to prepare for climate change and to achieve the goal of a climate neutral world by mid-century.

HOW DOES THE PARIS AGREEMENT WORK?

The Paris Agreement lives on a five-year cycle of the climate action that countries have carried out. In 2020, each country outlined, communicated, and submitted their plan of action on how they are going to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement, these plans and objectives are also known as the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

Specifically, the UK communicated its new NDC on the 12th December 2020 with commitments of the country to reduce economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions by at least 68% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels.

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