Importance of staying in the Paris Agreement

The Paris Agreement mandates that developed countries would continue to take lead in reduction of greenhouse gases

 
By Vijeta Rattani
Last Updated: Friday 02 June 2017
Unlike its predecessor, the Kyoto Protocol, Paris Agreement promotes a voluntary regime where countries choose to decide their climate commitments. Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Unlike its predecessor, the Kyoto Protocol, Paris Agreement promotes a voluntary regime where countries choose to decide their climate commitments. Credit: Wikimedia Commons Unlike its predecessor, the Kyoto Protocol, Paris Agreement promotes a voluntary regime where countries choose to decide their climate commitments. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

What is Paris Agreement?

The Paris Agreement is a climate pact adopted by 195 Parties on December 12, 2015. The Agreement is under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which is the global climate regime to address climate change. It replaces its predecessor, the Kyoto Protocol, which came into force in 2005.

What is the objective of the Paris Agreement?

The Paris Agreement aims at arresting the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and urges the Parties to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 °C.

When would the Paris Agreement come into force?

Paris Agreement came into force on November 4, 2016, 30 days after at least 55 Parties to the Convention, collectively contributing an estimated 55 per cent of the total global greenhouse gas emissions, ratified the climate deal in accordance with Article 21 of the Paris Agreement. However, the Agreement would be operational by 2020 after the finer details regarding the provisions are defined.

What are the salient features of the Paris Agreement?

  • No quantified emission reduction targets: Unlike its predecessor, the Kyoto Protocol, Paris Agreement promotes a voluntary regime where countries choose to decide their climate commitments.
  • Temperature goal: Besides keeping global warming 2 °C above pre-industrial levels, the Agreement also aims at ‘peaking of emissions’ as soon as possible and calls for rapid reductions from 2050 onwards to strike a balance between emission generation and that can be captured by sinks.
  • Financial commitments: The Agreement sets a ‘floor’ of US$ 100 billion from 2020. A new collective quantified goal from a floor of $100 billion per year would be formulated in 2025.
  • Differentiation: The Paris Agreement mandates that developed countries would continue to take the lead in reduction of greenhouse gases. Developed countries are also required to help developing countries with finance and technology, although developing countries are also encouraged to provide voluntary support.
  • Review mechanism: The Paris Agreement calls for a comprehensive review of climate efforts in terms of mitigation, adaptation and means of support. The mechanism is termed as ‘Global Stocktake’, which would take place in 2023. The review would aim at making the countries ratchet up their commitments.
  • Loss and damage- Loss and damage is a separate and important component of the Paris Agreement. Although loss and damage, incurred due to climate impacts, is not subjected to liability or compensation by developed countries.

What is the focus of climate negotiations now?

Countries are now negotiating to work out the details of each provision under the Paris Agreement and form the rule book for the implementation of Paris Agreement. The rule book is mandated to be formed by 2018.

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