The Paris Agreement, which came out of the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris in 2015, is a global agreement on climate change. It aims to limit global warming to well below 2℃, preferably to 1.5℃, compared to pre-industrial levels. Here are some of the key points agreed upon in the Paris Agreement:

1. Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)

All signatories of the agreement, which include 197 countries, are required to submit their NDCs, which are voluntary pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The NDCs are reviewed and updated every five years, with the first round of updates due in 2020. The hope is that by encouraging countries to set targets, they will be more likely to achieve them.

2. Adaptation and Loss and Damage

The Paris Agreement recognizes the importance of adaptation to the impacts of climate change, particularly for developing countries that are most vulnerable. It also acknowledges that some countries will experience loss and damage due to climate change, such as rising sea levels, droughts, and floods. The agreement established the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage, which provides support to countries dealing with the consequences of climate change.

3. Finance

Developed countries committed to providing financial support to developing countries to help them transition to low-carbon economies and adapt to the impacts of climate change. The agreement set a goal of mobilizing $100 billion per year by 2020, though progress towards that goal has been slow. The Green Climate Fund was also established to help finance climate projects in developing countries.

4. Transparency and Accountability

The Paris Agreement includes a transparency framework that aims to ensure that countries are reporting their emissions accurately and transparently. The framework requires countries to submit regular reports on their emissions and progress towards their NDCs. The agreement also established a mechanism to facilitate compliance and promote accountability.

5. Long-Term Goals

The Paris Agreement sets a long-term goal of achieving global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible, followed by a rapid decline in emissions to reach net-zero emissions in the second half of this century. This goal is intended to guide countries towards a long-term transition to a low-carbon economy.

In summary, the Paris Agreement is a comprehensive and ambitious global effort to address climate change. It recognizes the urgent need to limit global warming and sets out a framework for countries to work together towards that goal. While progress towards achieving the agreement’s goals has been slow, it remains an important framework for international action on climate change.

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