Paris Agreement on Climate Change officially enters into force

As of November 2016, 192 states and the European Union have signed the Agreement; 97 of those parties have ratified or acceded to the Agreement, most notably China, the United States and India.

Nov 4, 2016 14:14 IST
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The Paris Agreement officially entered into force on 4 November 2016. The agreement deals with greenhouse gases emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance.

The Paris Agreement’s entry into force comes a month after countries representing 55 per cent of the world’s emissions committed to joining the deal.

As of November 2016, 192 states and the European Union have signed the Agreement; 97 of those parties have ratified or acceded to the Agreement, most notably China, the United States and India.

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About Paris Agreement

The Paris Agreement is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The language of the agreement was negotiated by representatives of 195 countries at the 21st Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC in Paris and adopted by consensus on 12 December 2015.

It was opened for signature on 22 April 2016 in a ceremony in New York City.

As of November 2016, 193 UNFCCC members have signed the treaty, 97 of which have ratified it.

After the European Union ratified the agreement in October 2016, there were enough countries that had ratified the agreement that produce enough of the world's greenhouse gases for the agreement to enter into force.

Highlights of Paris Agreement on Climate Change

• Objectives: The primary objective of the protocol is to limit the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels.
• Efforts will be made to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels so that it will be possible to reduce the risks and impacts of climate change.
• Parties should take action to conserve and enhance, as appropriate, sinks and reservoirs of greenhouse gases including forests.

• Adoption: With a view to contributing to sustainable development and to achieve the long term temperature goal of 2 °C the COP established the global goal on adaptation of enhancing adaptive capacity, strengthening resilience and reducing vulnerability to climate change.

• Mitigation: Parties recognized the importance of averting, minimizing and addressing loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change, including extreme weather events and slow onset events, and the role of sustainable development in reducing the risk of loss and damage.

• Technology Transfer: Parties share a long-term vision on the importance of fully realizing technology development and transfer in order to improve resilience to climate change and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

• Capacity-Building: It should be country-driven based on and responsive to national, sub national and local needs.

• Financing: Developed countries will raise finances to the tune of 100 billion US dollars per year as the floor by 2020, to help developing nations in both mitigation and adaptation activities. And, other nations are encouraged to provide funding voluntarily.

• Implementation: A mechanism to facilitate implementation of and promote compliance with the provisions of this Agreement is hereby established.

• Review: The Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement shall undertake its first global stock take in 2023 and every five years thereafter.

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Significance of the agreement

The global environmental protocol took into account the principle of common but differentiated responsibility (CBDR) to ensure climate justice which has been advocated by India for a long time.

It strikes the right balance between national developmental needs of developing and small island nations and global environmental necessities by incorporating the INDCs under which countries will publicly outline what post-2020 climate actions they intend to take.

It was adopted in the light of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in particular its goal 13 that advocates for urgent action to combat climate change.

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