The Paris Agreement, a landmark international accord, was signed in 2015 with the aim of limiting global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. But how does the Paris Agreement actually work, and what are its key components?
Firstly, each country that agrees to the Paris Agreement submits a nationally determined contribution (NDC) outlining its own ambitious climate change targets and actions. These NDCs are reviewed and assessed every five years to ensure progress towards the overall goal of limiting global warming.
Secondly, developed countries are expected to provide financial and technological assistance to developing countries to help them transition to low-carbon economies and cope with the impacts of climate change. The Paris Agreement aims to generate $100 billion per year in climate finance by 2020.
Thirdly, the Paris Agreement establishes a framework for global cooperation on climate change. This includes promoting transparency in reporting emissions and progress towards NDCs, as well as a mechanism for countries to work together to address common challenges such as adapting to the impacts of climate change.
The Paris Agreement also recognizes the importance of non-state actors such as cities, businesses, and civil society in driving climate action. This has led to the rise of climate coalitions and initiatives such as the Under2 Coalition and the We Are Still In campaign, which bring together subnational governments and businesses committed to ambitious climate targets.
Overall, the Paris Agreement is a crucial framework for addressing the urgent challenge of climate change. While the agreement is not legally binding, it has created a global consensus on the need for immediate and ambitious action on climate change and has spurred increased investment in clean energy and low-carbon technologies.