The Paris Agreement on Climate Change was signed on December 12, 2015, by 195 countries around the world. The objective of the agreement is to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
In 2020, the Paris Agreement is set to take center stage once more as countries are expected to submit their updated climate plans, known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This process is commonly referred to as the “ratchet mechanism” and is a key feature of the Paris Agreement, as it ensures that countries are continually raising their level of ambition in terms of emissions reduction targets.
The updated NDCs are expected to include more aggressive emission reduction targets, as well as plans for adaptation to the impacts of climate change. The NDCs are also expected to take into account the latest scientific findings, particularly the urgent need to reach net-zero emissions by mid-century to keep the world on track for the Paris Agreement’s long-term goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented challenges for countries as they prepare their updated NDCs, with many countries facing economic and social challenges as a result of the pandemic. However, some countries have recognized the link between a green recovery and sustainable development, with investment in renewable energy and other low-carbon technologies seen as a way to create jobs and stimulate economic growth while also reducing emissions.
The Paris Agreement has been a significant milestone in the global effort to address climate change, with countries committing to work together to reduce emissions and limit the impacts of climate change. The agreement has provided a framework for international cooperation and has created a sense of urgency around the need for action on climate change.
In 2020, the Paris Agreement continues to be a critical tool in the fight against climate change as countries prepare to submit their updated NDCs. The updated NDCs are expected to reflect the latest scientific findings and the urgent need to take action to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius, and ideally to 1.5 degrees Celsius. With continued global collaboration and cooperation, the Paris Agreement provides hope for a sustainable future for all.