The Paris Agreement is a historic global pact that aims to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The agreement contains provisions that aim to facilitate and promote sustainable development, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and build resilience to climate change impacts.
Despite some setbacks, the Paris Agreement is still in effect and remains an important framework for international cooperation on climate change. Here’s a look at the current status of the agreement:
1. The US has rejoined the Paris Agreement
In January 2021, the US officially rejoined the Paris Agreement under the new Biden administration. The Trump administration had withdrawn the US from the agreement in 2017, but the move was widely criticized both domestically and internationally.
2. Countries are working towards their emissions reduction targets
Under the Paris Agreement, each country has submitted a pledge to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. These pledges, known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), are reviewed and updated every five years.
Currently, most countries are working on achieving their NDCs. However, there is widespread concern that current pledges are not ambitious enough to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius.
3. The UN climate conference was postponed due to COVID-19
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) holds an annual conference where countries come together to discuss climate change issues. However, the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) was postponed from 2020 to November 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
COP26 is expected to be a crucial moment in the global effort to address climate change, as countries are expected to present updated and more ambitious NDCs.
4. Climate change impacts are becoming more severe
Despite the Paris Agreement and global efforts to reduce emissions, the impacts of climate change are becoming more severe. Extreme weather events such as hurricanes, wildfires, and floods are becoming more frequent and intense.
Scientific research indicates that the Earth is currently on track for a global average temperature increase of 3 degrees Celsius or more above pre-industrial levels, far beyond the Paris Agreement’s temperature target.
In conclusion, the Paris Agreement remains an important framework for international cooperation on climate change. However, more ambitious action is needed from countries to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius. The postponed COP26 conference is expected to be a crucial moment in the global effort to address climate change.