The Paris Agreement, a global climate pact, was signed by 195 countries in 2015 to address the urgent issue of climate change. The agreement aims to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius. It also calls for countries to regularly report their emissions and take action to reduce them.
As we approach the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement, it is important to assess how countries are doing in terms of compliance. Are countries living up to their commitments under the agreement? Are they taking adequate steps to reduce their emissions and limit global warming?
According to the United Nations, as of September 2020, 189 countries had submitted their updated national climate plans, known as nationally determined contributions (NDCs), under the Paris Agreement. These plans outline the actions countries will take to reduce their emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.
However, there are concerns that many of these plans are not ambitious enough to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. A report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) found that even if all countries fully implement their current NDCs, the world is still on track for a temperature increase of 3.2 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.
This highlights the need for countries to increase their ambition and take more aggressive steps to reduce their emissions. It also underscores the importance of regular reviews and updates of NDCs, as required under the Paris Agreement.
In addition to submitting their NDCs, countries are also required to regularly report their emissions and progress towards their climate goals. The Transparency Framework under the Paris Agreement lays out the guidelines for this reporting, which is critical for tracking progress and holding countries accountable.
While compliance with the Paris Agreement is voluntary, there are concerns that some countries may not be living up to their commitments. For example, the United States, one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases, has announced its intention to withdraw from the agreement. This move has been widely criticized and has sparked concerns that other countries may follow suit.
Overall, the Paris Agreement represents a critical step in addressing the urgent threat of climate change. While progress has been made, there is still much work to be done to limit global warming to a safe level. Regular updates and reviews of NDCs, as well as transparent reporting on emissions, will be key to achieving the goals of the agreement and avoiding the worst impacts of climate change.