Cop 21 Paris Climate Agreement

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The COP 21 Paris Climate Agreement: An Overview

The COP 21 Paris Climate Agreement, also known as the Paris Agreement, is a historic global treaty aimed at limiting the rise of global temperatures to below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The agreement, which was adopted on December 12, 2015, by all 196 Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), aims to strengthen the ability of countries to deal with the impacts of climate change, through mitigation and adaptation measures.

The Paris Agreement builds on the UNFCCC’s earlier efforts to address climate change, which began with the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol in 1997. The Kyoto Protocol, which was ratified by 192 countries, limited the emissions of six greenhouse gases from developed countries. However, the protocol faced criticism for not including major emitters such as the United States and China, and for being ineffective in reducing global emissions.

The Paris Agreement aims to address these shortcomings by setting more ambitious goals and incorporating all countries, regardless of their level of economic development. It also emphasizes the need for countries to work together in order to achieve the goals of the agreement.

The key components of the Paris Agreement are:

– Mitigation: Countries are required to set their own ambitious emissions reduction targets, known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), and report on their progress towards meeting these targets. Developed countries are also expected to provide financial and technological support to developing countries to help them reduce their emissions.

– Adaptation: Countries are required to develop and implement adaptation plans to help them deal with the impacts of climate change, such as sea level rise and extreme weather events.

– Finance: Developed countries are expected to provide financial support to developing countries to help them mitigate and adapt to climate change. A goal of $100 billion per year by 2020 was set for this purpose.

– Transparency: A system will be set up to enable countries to report on their progress towards meeting their NDCs and on their climate finance commitments.

The Paris Agreement has been recognized as a significant achievement in the fight against climate change and has been ratified by 189 countries as of 2021. However, the effectiveness of the agreement will depend on the ability of countries to work together and take ambitious action to reduce emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

As an individual, you can also take steps to contribute to the goals of the agreement. You can reduce your carbon footprint by taking public transport, using energy-efficient appliances, eating a plant-based diet, and reducing your waste. You can also advocate for climate action by raising awareness and supporting political leaders who prioritize climate issues.

In conclusion, the COP 21 Paris Climate Agreement is a crucial step towards addressing the urgent issue of climate change. While there is still a long way to go to achieve the goals of the agreement, it provides a framework for countries to work together towards a more sustainable future.