The Paris Agreement, an international agreement on climate change, was adopted at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris in 2015. The agreement aims to limit global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius. In order to achieve this goal, countries around the world have committed to taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
As of November 2021, 197 countries have signed the Paris Agreement and 192 have ratified it. The United States, which had withdrawn from the agreement under the previous administration, has rejoined under the Biden administration.
Each country that has ratified the agreement has submitted a Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) outlining their plans to reduce emissions. These plans vary widely based on the country`s level of development, resources, and other factors.
The top emitters, China and the United States, have both submitted updated NDCs since rejoining the agreement. China, which accounts for around 28% of global emissions, has pledged to peak its emissions by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. The United States, which accounts for around 15% of global emissions, has committed to reducing emissions by 50-52% below 2005 levels by 2030.
Other major emitters, such as India, Russia, and Japan, have also submitted updated NDCs. India, which accounts for around 7% of global emissions, has pledged to reduce emissions intensity by 33-35% below 2005 levels by 2030. Russia, which accounts for around 5% of global emissions, has set a target to reduce emissions to 70% of 1990 levels by 2030. Japan, which accounts for around 3% of global emissions, has set a target to reduce emissions by 46% below 2013 levels by 2030.
Smaller developing countries have also submitted NDCs, often with ambitious targets given their limited resources. For example, Costa Rica has pledged to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, while Bhutan has pledged to remain carbon neutral.
While the Paris Agreement has been hailed as a major step forward in global efforts to address climate change, there are concerns that the commitments made by countries may not be enough to limit warming to below 2 degrees Celsius. The United Nations has called for countries to increase their ambition and submit more ambitious NDCs ahead of the next round of climate talks in Glasgow in November 2021.
In summary, the Paris Agreement represents a global effort to address climate change and limit global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius. While every country that has ratified the agreement has submitted an NDC outlining their plans to reduce emissions, there is still much work to be done to ensure that these commitments are sufficient to achieve the agreement`s goals.