The Paris Agreement 2015 Turning Point For The International Climate Regime

December 12, 2015 will go down in the history of the planet. In Paris, we have experienced some revolutions in recent centuries. But today, it is the most beautiful and peaceful revolution that has just been accomplished, a revolution for climate change. The agreement establishes a strong process for countries to regularly assess their implementation and take stock of climate change measures, called global Stocktake, every five years. It will assess the implementation of mitigation, adaptation and support measures, including financing, and support the implementation of countries` climate plans. The assessment will start in 2023, but countries have agreed to return in 2018 to verify the implementation of mitigation measures to inform their contributions to the reduction for 2020. Ahead of the Paris conference, more than 180 countries, on which more than 95% of global emissions fly, presented national climate targets to show their global commitment to the fight against climate change. This set of targets resulted in a significant drop in projected global warming, although it was not enough to limit warming to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial level or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, which was the threshold recognized by the UN to avoid the worst effects of climate change. Anxious to « significantly reduce the risks and effects of climate change, » the agreement calls for the average increase in global temperature over this century to be well below 2 degrees Celsius, while striving to limit the increase in temperatures to 1.5 degrees.

It also calls on countries to work to ensure that global greenhouse gas emissions are offset as quickly as possible and become climate neutral by the second half of this century at the latest. To achieve these targets, 186 countries responsible for more than 90% of global emissions presented carbon reduction targets known as « Planned National Contributions » (INDCs) ahead of the Paris conference. These targets set out each country`s commitments to reduce emissions (including conservation of carbon sinks) by 2025 or 2030, including overall CO2 emission reduction targets and individual commitments from some 2,250 cities and 2,025 companies. The Paris Agreement sets pioneering climate change targets to keep temperature increases well below 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees F) and to make efforts to limit temperature increases to 1.5 degrees C (2.7 degrees F). To do this, countries will strive to achieve global emissions as quickly as possible and, remarkably, countries have agreed to rapidly reduce emissions to achieve net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the second half of the century. . . .