The Paris Agreement: An Overview for Loksatta Readers
The Paris Agreement is a landmark international agreement aimed at reducing global greenhouse gas emissions and limiting global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The agreement was signed on December 12, 2015, by 196 countries at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris, France.
What does the Paris Agreement aim to achieve?
The Paris Agreement aims to keep global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius. To achieve this goal, countries have committed to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions to reach a global peak as soon as possible and to undertake rapid and deep reductions thereafter in accordance with best available science.
What are the key elements of the Paris Agreement?
The Paris Agreement has several key elements, including:
– Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs): These are voluntary pledges made by each country to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. The NDCs are to be updated every five years and are expected to become more ambitious over time.
– Transparency and accountability: The Paris Agreement includes a transparent and robust system to track progress towards the NDCs and to assess the effectiveness of the overall global effort.
– Climate finance: Developed countries have committed to mobilizing at least $100 billion per year in funding to help developing countries address climate change.
– Adaptation: The Paris Agreement recognizes the importance of adaptation to the impacts of climate change and calls for increased efforts to help vulnerable countries and communities adapt.
What has happened since the Paris Agreement was signed?
Since the Paris Agreement was signed, countries have continued to work towards its implementation. The UNFCCC has established a number of mechanisms, including the Paris Agreement Work Programme, to support countries in their efforts to implement the agreement. In addition, several countries have taken significant steps to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, including through the development of renewable energy sources and the implementation of carbon pricing mechanisms.
However, progress towards the goals of the Paris Agreement has been slow, and many experts believe that more needs to be done if we are to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.
What is the significance of the Paris Agreement for India?
India is one of the signatories to the Paris Agreement and has committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions intensity by 33-35% below 2005 levels by 2030. India has also set a target of achieving 40% of its total electricity generation capacity from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030.
The Paris Agreement provides an opportunity for India to transition to a low-carbon economy and to develop sustainable and resilient infrastructure. However, achieving these goals will require significant investment and policy changes.
In conclusion, the Paris Agreement represents a crucial global effort to address the urgent issue of climate change. Although progress towards the goals of the agreement has been gradual, it is essential that countries continue to work towards their commitments under the Paris Agreement in order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change and to create a more sustainable future for all.