Paris Agreement

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Paris Agreement
Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
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  Parties
  Signatories
Drafted 30 November – 12 December 2015
Signed 22 April 2016
Location New York
Sealed 12 December 2015
Effective Not in effect
Condition Ratification/Accession by 55 UNFCCC Parties, accounting for 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions
Signatories 177[1]
Parties 17[1]
Depositary Secretary-General of the United Nations
Languages Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish
Paris Agreement at Wikisource

The Paris Agreement (French: L'accord de Paris) is an agreement within the framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) dealing with greenhouse gases emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance starting in the year 2020. An agreement on the language of the treaty 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 (Earth Day),[2] and 177 UNFCCC members signed the treaty, 15 of which ratified it. It has not entered into force.[3][4]

The head of the Paris Conference, France's foreign minister Laurent Fabius, said this "ambitious and balanced" plan is a "historic turning point" in the goal of reducing global warming.[5]

Content

Aim

The aim of the convention is described in Article 2, "enhancing the implementation" of the UNFCCC through:[6]

"(a) Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change;
(b) Increasing the ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change and foster climate resilience and low greenhouse gas emissions development, in a manner that does not threaten food production;
(c) Making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development."

Countries furthermore aim to reach "global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible".

Nationally determined contributions and their limits

The contribution that each individual country should make in order to achieve the worldwide goal are determined by all countries individually and called "nationally determined contributions" (NDCs).[7] Article 3 requires them to be "ambitious", "represent a progression over time" and set "with the view to achieving the purpose of this Agreement". The contributions should be reported every five years and are to be registered by the UNFCCC Secretariat.[8] Each further ambition should be more ambitious than the previous one, known as the principle of 'progression'.[9] Countries can cooperate and pool their nationally determined contributions. The Intended Nationally Determined Contributions pledged during the 2015 Climate Change Conference serve—unless provided otherwise—as the initial Nationally determined contribution.

The level of NDCs set by each country[10] will set that country's targets. However the 'contributions' themselves are not binding as a matter of international law, as they lack the specificity, normative character, or obligatory language necessary to create binding norms.[11] Furthermore, there will be no mechanism to force[12] a country to set a target in their NDC by a specific date and no enforcement if a set target in an NDC is not met.[10][13] There will be only a "name and shame" system[14] or as János Pásztor, the U.N. assistant secretary-general on climate change, told CBS News (US), a "name and encourage" plan.[15]

The negotiators of the Agreement however stated that the NDCs and the 2°C reduction target were insufficient, instead, a 1.5°C target is required, noting "with concern that the estimated aggregate greenhouse gas emission levels in 2025 and 2030 resulting from the intended nationally determined contributions do not fall within least-cost 2 ̊C scenarios but rather lead to a projected level of 55 gigatonnes in 2030", and recognizing furthermore "that much greater emission reduction efforts will be required in order to hold the increase in the global average temperature to below 2 ̊C by reducing emissions to 40 gigatonnes or to 1.5 ̊C".[16]

Global stocktake

The implementation of the agreement by all member countries together will be evaluated every 5 years, with the first evaluation in 2023. The outcome is to be used as input for new nationally determined contributions of member states.[17] The stocktake will not be of contributions/achievements of individual countries but a collective analysis of what has been achieved and what more needs to be done.

Structure

The Paris Agreement has a 'bottom up' structure in contrast to most international environmental law treaties which are 'top down', characterised by standards and targets set internationally, for states to implement.[18]

Adoption

Negotiations

Within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, legal instruments may be adopted to reach the goals of the convention. For the period from 2008 to 2012, greenhouse gas reduction measures were agreed in the Kyoto Protocol in 1997. The scope of the protocol was extended until 2020 with the Doha Amendment to that protocol in 2012.[19]

During the 2011 United Nations Climate Change Conference, the Durban Platform (and the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action) was established with the aim to negotiate a legal instrument governing climate change mitigation measures from 2020. The resulting agreement was to be adopted in 2015.[20]

Adoption

At the conclusion of COP 21, on 12 December 2015, the final wording of the Paris Agreement was adopted by consensus by all of the 195 UNFCCC participating member states and the European Union[3] to reduce emissions as part of the method for reducing greenhouse gas. In the 12 page Agreement,[21] the members promised to reduce their carbon output "as soon as possible" and to do their best to keep global warming "to well below 2 degrees C" [3.6 degrees F].[22]

Signature and entry into force

Signing by John Kerry in United Nations General Assembly Hall for the United States

The Paris Agreement is open for signature by States and regional economic integration organizations that are Parties to the UNFCCC (the Convention) from 22 April 2016 to 21 April 2017 at the UN Headquarters in New York.[23]

It will enter into force (and thus become fully effective) only if 55 countries that produce at least 55% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions (according to a list produced in 2015)[24] ratify, accept, approve or accede to the agreement.[25][26] On 1 April 2016 the United States and China, which jointly represent almost 40% of global emissions, issued a joint statement confirming that both countries will sign the Paris Climate Agreement.[27][28] 175 Parties (174 states and the European Union) signed the treaty on the first date it was open for signature.[2][29]

Parties and signatories

As of 20 May 2016, 176 states and the European Union have signed the Agreement. 17 of those states have ratified the Agreement.[1]

Party or signatory[1]  % of Greenhouse gases
for ratification[24]
Signed Ratified or acceded Entry into force
 Afghanistan 0.05% 22 April 2016
 Albania 0.02% 22 April 2016
 Algeria 0.30% 22 April 2016
 Andorra 0.00% 22 April 2016
 Angola 0.17% 22 April 2016
 Antigua and Barbuda 0.00% 22 April 2016
 Argentina 0.89% 22 April 2016
 Australia 1.46% 22 April 2016
 Austria 0.21% 22 April 2016
 Azerbaijan 0.13% 22 April 2016
 Bahamas, The 0.00% 22 April 2016
 Bahrain 0.06% 22 April 2016
 Bangladesh 0.27% 22 April 2016
 Barbados 0.01% 22 April 2016 22 April 2016
 Belarus 0.24% 22 April 2016
 Belgium 0.32% 22 April 2016
 Belize 0.00% 22 April 2016 22 April 2016
 Benin 0.02% 22 April 2016
 Bhutan 0.00% 22 April 2016
 Bolivia 0.12% 22 April 2016
 Bosnia and Herzegovina 0.08% 22 April 2016
 Botswana 0.02% 22 April 2016
 Brazil 2.48% 22 April 2016
 Brunei [lower-alpha 1] 22 April 2016
 Bulgaria 0.15% 22 April 2016
 Burkina Faso 0.06% 22 April 2016
 Burundi 0.07% 22 April 2016
 Cambodia 0.03% 22 April 2016
 Cameroon 0.45% 22 April 2016
 Canada 1.95% 22 April 2016
 Cape Verde 0.00% 22 April 2016
 Central African Republic 0.01% 22 April 2016
 Chad 0.06% 22 April 2016
 China 20.09% 22 April 2016
 Colombia 0.41% 22 April 2016
 Comoros 0.00% 22 April 2016
 Congo, Democratic Republic of the 0.06% 22 April 2016
 Congo, Republic of the 0.01% 22 April 2016
 Costa Rica 0.03% 22 April 2016
 Côte d'Ivoire 0.73% 22 April 2016
 Croatia 0.07% 22 April 2016
 Cuba 0.10% 22 April 2016
 Cyprus 0.02% 22 April 2016
 Czech Republic 0.34% 22 April 2016
 Denmark 0.15% 22 April 2016
 Djibouti 0.00% 22 April 2016
 Dominica 0.00% 22 April 2016
 Dominican Republic 0.07% 22 April 2016
 East Timor 0.00% 22 April 2016
 Egypt 0.52% 22 April 2016
 El Salvador 0.03% 22 April 2016
 Equatorial Guinea [lower-alpha 1] 22 April 2016
 Eritrea 0.01% 22 April 2016
 Estonia 0.06% 22 April 2016
 Ethiopia 0.13% 22 April 2016
 European Union [lower-alpha 2] 22 April 2016
 Fiji 0.01% 22 April 2016 22 April 2016
 Finland 0.17% 22 April 2016
 France 1.34% 22 April 2016
 Gabon 0.02% 22 April 2016
 Gambia, The 0.05% 26 April 2016
 Georgia 0.03% 22 April 2016
 Germany 2.56% 22 April 2016
 Ghana 0.09% 22 April 2016
 Greece 0.28% 22 April 2016
 Grenada 0.00% 22 April 2016 22 April 2016
 Guatemala 0.04% 22 April 2016
 Guinea 0.01% 22 April 2016
 Guinea-Bissau 0.02% 22 April 2016
 Guyana 0.01% 22 April 2016 20 May 2016
 Haiti 0.02% 22 April 2016
 Honduras 0.03% 22 April 2016
 Hungary 0.15% 22 April 2016
 Iceland 0.01% 22 April 2016
 India 4.10% 22 April 2016
 Indonesia 1.49% 22 April 2016
 Iran 1.30% 22 April 2016
 Ireland 0.16% 22 April 2016
 Israel 0.20% 22 April 2016
 Italy 1.18% 22 April 2016
 Jamaica 0.04% 22 April 2016
 Japan 3.79% 22 April 2016
 Jordan 0.07% 22 April 2016
 Kenya 0.06% 22 April 2016
 Kiribati 0.00% 22 April 2016
 Korea, North 0.23% 22 April 2016
 Korea, South 1.85% 22 April 2016
 Kuwait 0.09% 22 April 2016
 Laos 0.02% 22 April 2016
 Latvia 0.03% 22 April 2016
 Lebanon 0.07% 22 April 2016
 Lesotho 0.01% 22 April 2016
 Liberia 0.02% 22 April 2016
 Libya [lower-alpha 1] 22 April 2016
 Liechtenstein 0.00% 22 April 2016
 Lithuania 0.05% 22 April 2016
 Luxembourg 0.03% 22 April 2016
 Macedonia, Republic of 0.03% 22 April 2016
 Madagascar 0.08% 22 April 2016
 Malaysia 0.52% 22 April 2016
 Maldives 0.00% 22 April 2016 22 April 2016
 Mali 0.03% 22 April 2016
 Malta 0.01% 22 April 2016
 Marshall Islands 0.00% 22 April 2016 22 April 2016
 Mauritania 0.02% 22 April 2016
 Mauritius 0.01% 22 April 2016 22 April 2016
 Mexico 1.70% 22 April 2016
 Micronesia 0.00% 22 April 2016
 Monaco 0.00% 22 April 2016
 Mongolia 0.05% 22 April 2016
 Montenegro 0.01% 22 April 2016
 Morocco 0.16% 22 April 2016
 Mozambique 0.02% 22 April 2016
 Myanmar 0.10% 22 April 2016
 Namibia 0.01% 22 April 2016
 Nauru 0.00% 22 April 2016 22 April 2016
   Nepal 0.07% 22 April 2016
 Netherlands 0.53% 22 April 2016
 New Zealand 0.22% 22 April 2016
 Niger 0.04% 22 April 2016
 Norway 0.14% 22 April 2016
 Oman 0.06% 22 April 2016
 Pakistan 0.43% 22 April 2016
 Palau 0.00% 22 April 2016 22 April 2016
 Palestine [lower-alpha 3] 22 April 2016 22 April 2016
 Panama 0.03% 22 April 2016
 Papua New Guinea 0.01% 22 April 2016
 Paraguay 0.06% 22 April 2016
 Peru 0.22% 22 April 2016
 Philippines 0.34% 22 April 2016
 Poland 1.06% 22 April 2016
 Portugal 0.18% 22 April 2016
 Qatar 0.17% 22 April 2016
 Romania 0.30% 22 April 2016
 Russia 7.53% 22 April 2016
 Rwanda 0.02% 22 April 2016
 Saint Kitts and Nevis 0.00% 22 April 2016 22 April 2016
 Saint Lucia 0.00% 22 April 2016 22 April 2016
 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 0.00% 22 April 2016
 Samoa 0.00% 22 April 2016 22 April 2016
 San Marino 0.00% 22 April 2016
 São Tomé and Príncipe 0.00% 22 April 2016
 Senegal 0.05% 22 April 2016
 Serbia 0.18% 22 April 2016
 Seychelles 0.00% 25 April 2016 29 April 2016
 Singapore 0.13% 22 April 2016
 Slovakia 0.12% 22 April 2016
 Slovenia 0.05% 22 April 2016
 Solomon Islands 0.00% 22 April 2016
 Somalia [lower-alpha 1] 22 April 2016 22 April 2016
 South Africa 1.46% 22 April 2016
 South Sudan [lower-alpha 1] 22 April 2016
 Spain 0.87% 22 April 2016
 Sri Lanka 0.05% 22 April 2016
 Sudan 0.18% 22 April 2016
 Suriname 0.01% 22 April 2016
 Swaziland 0.05% 22 April 2016
 Sweden 0.15% 22 April 2016
  Switzerland 0.14% 22 April 2016
 Tajikistan 0.02% 22 April 2016
 Tanzania 0.11% 22 April 2016
 Thailand 0.64% 22 April 2016
 Tonga 0.00% 22 April 2016
 Trinidad and Tobago 0.04% 22 April 2016
 Tunisia 0.11% 22 April 2016
 Turkey 1.24% 22 April 2016
 Tuvalu 0.00% 22 April 2016 22 April 2016
 Uganda 0.07% 22 April 2016
 Ukraine 1.04% 22 April 2016
 United Arab Emirates 0.53% 22 April 2016
 United Kingdom 1.55% 22 April 2016
 United States 17.89% 22 April 2016
 Uruguay 0.05% 22 April 2016
 Vanuatu 0.00% 22 April 2016
 Venezuela 0.52% 22 April 2016
 Vietnam 0.72% 22 April 2016
 Zimbabwe 0.18% 22 April 2016

Green Climate Fund

Not part of the Paris agreement (and not legally binding)[31] is a (non-binding) plan to provide $100 billion a year in aid to developing countries for implementing new procedures to minimize climate change with additional amounts to be provided in subsequent years.[32]

In early March 2016, the Obama administration gave a $500 million grant to the "Green Climate Fund" as "the first chunk of a $3bn commitment made at the Paris climate talks." [33][34]

Critical reception

Perfectible accord?

Al Gore stated that "no agreement is perfect, and this one must be strengthened over time, but groups across every sector of society will now begin to reduce dangerous carbon pollution through the framework of this agreement."[35]

Lack of binding enforcement mechanism

Although the agreement was lauded by many, including French President Francois Hollande and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon,[26] criticism has also surfaced. For example, Professor James Hansen, a former NASA scientist and a climate change expert, voiced anger about the fact that most of the agreement consists of "promises" or aims and not firm commitments.[36]

Institutional asset owners associations and think-tanks such as the World Pensions Council (WPC) have also observed that the stated objectives of the Paris Agreement are implicitly “predicated upon an assumption – that member states of the United Nations, including high polluters such as China, the US, India, Brazil, Canada, Russia, Indonesia and Australia, which generate more than half the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, will somehow drive down their carbon pollution voluntarily and assiduously without any binding enforcement mechanism to measure and control CO2 emissions at any level from factory to state, and without any specific penalty gradation or fiscal pressure (for example a carbon tax) to discourage bad behaviour. A shining example of what Roman lawyers called circular logic: an agreement (or argument) presupposing in advance what it wants to achieve.[37]

See also

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Emissions of parties to the UNFCCC that had not yet submitted their first national communication to the UNFCCC secretariat with an emissions inventory at the time of adoption of the Paris Agreement were not included in the figure for entry into force of the Agreement.[24]
  2. The emissions of the European Union are accounted for in the total of its individual member states.
  3. Emissions of states that were not a party to the UNFCCC at the time of adoption of the Paris Agreement,[30] which were thus not permitted to sign the Agreement, were not included in the totals for entry into force for the Agreement.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Paris Agreement". United Nations Treaty Collection. 2016-04-22. Retrieved 2016-04-23. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "‘Today is an historic day,’ says Ban, as 175 countries sign Paris climate accord". United Nations. 22 April 2016. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Sutter, John D.; Berlinger, Joshua (12 December 2015). "Final draft of climate deal formally accepted in Paris". CNN. Cable News Network, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. Retrieved 12 December 2015. 
  4. "Paris climate talks: France releases 'ambitious, balanced' draft agreement at COP21". ABC Australia. 12 December 2015. 
  5. Doyle, Allister; Lewis, Barbara (12 December 2015). "World seals landmark climate accord, marking turn from fossil fuels". Reuters. Thomson Reuters. Retrieved 12 December 2015. 
  6. "Paris Agreement, FCCC/CP/2015/L.9/Rev.1" (PDF). UNFCCC secretariat. Retrieved 12 December 2015. 
  7. Article 3, Paris Agreement (2015)
  8. Article 4(9), Paris Agreement (2015)
  9. Articles 3, 9(3), Paris Agreement (2015)
  10. 10.0 10.1 Mark, Kinver (14 December 2015). "COP21: What does the Paris climate agreement mean for me?". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 14 December 2015. 
  11. Brunnee J, ‘International Legislation’, Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law (Oxford University Press 2008)
  12. Reguly, Eric (14 December 2015). "Paris climate accord marks shift toward low-carbon economy". Globe and Mail. Toronto, Canada. Retrieved 14 December 2015. 
  13. Davenport, Coral (12 December 2015). "Nations Approve Landmark Climate Accord in Paris". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 December 2015. 
  14. "Paris climate deal: What the agreement means for India and the world". Hindustan Times. 14 December 2015. Retrieved 14 December 2015. 
  15. "Climate negotiators strike deal to slow global warming". CBS News. CBS Interactive Inc. 12 December 2015. Retrieved 14 December 2015. 
  16. "Paris Agreement, Decision 1/CP.21, Article 17" (PDF). UNFCCC secretariat. Retrieved 6 April 2016. 
  17. article 14 "Framework Convention on Climate Change" (PDF). United Nations FCCC Int. United Nations. 12 December 2015. Retrieved 12 December 2015. 
  18. Birnie P, Boyle A and Redgwell C (2009). International Law and the Environment. Oxford: OUP. pp. Chapter 3. 
  19. "UN climate talks extend Kyoto Protocol, promise compensation". BBC News. 8 December 2012. 
  20. "UNFCCC:Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP)". Retrieved 2 August 2015. 
  21. "Framework Convention on Climate Change" (PDF). United Nations FCCC Int. United Nations. 12 December 2015. Retrieved 12 December 2015. 
  22. "'Historic' Paris climate deal adopted". CBC News. CBC/Radio Canada. 12 December 2015. Retrieved 12 December 2015. 
  23. Article 20(1), https://unfccc.int/resource/docs/2015/cop21/eng/l09.pdf
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 "Information provided in accordance with paragraph 104 of decision 1 CP21 related to entry into force of the Paris Agreement (Article 21)" (PDF). UNFCCC. Retrieved 23 April 2016. 
  25. Article 21(1)
  26. 26.0 26.1 "Historic Paris Agreement on Climate Change - 195 Nations Set Path to Keep Temperature Rise Well Below 2 Degrees Celsius". UN Climate Change Newsroom. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. 12 December 2015. Retrieved 14 December 2015. 
  27. McGrath, Matt (2016-03-31). "Paris Climate Treaty: 'Significant step' as US and China agree to sign". Bbc.com. Retrieved 2016-04-23. 
  28. Obama and President Xi of China Vow to Sign Paris Climate Agreement Promptly April 1, 2016
  29. "PARIS AGREEMENT Signature Ceremony" (PDF). UNFCCC. 22 April 2016. 
  30. "United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change". United Nations Treaty Series. 2013-07-23. Retrieved 2013-07-24. 
  31. Davenport, Coral (12 December 2015). "Nations Approve Landmark Climate Accord in Paris". New York Times. New York Times. Retrieved 14 December 2015. 
  32. "COP21 climate change summit reaches deal in Paris". BBC News. BBC News Services. 13 December 2015. Retrieved 14 December 2015. 
  33. Suzanne Goldenberg. "Obama administration pays out $500m to climate change project | Environment". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-04-23. 
  34. Volcovici, Valerie (2016-03-07). "United States delivers first payment to global climate fund". Reuters. Retrieved 2016-04-23. 
  35. John Vidal (13 December 2015). "Paris Climate Agreement ‘May Signal End of Fossil Fuel Era’". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 December 2015. 
  36. Milman, Oliver (12 December 2015). "James Hansen, father of climate change awareness, calls Paris talks 'a fraud'". The Guardian. London, England. Retrieved 14 December 2015. 
  37. M. Nicolas J. Firzli (25 January 2016). "Investment Governance: The Real Fight against Emissions is Being Waged by Markets". Dow Jones Financial News. 

External links