The Paris climate agreement, also known as the Paris agreement, is a global effort to combat climate change. The agreement was signed in 2015 by 196 parties, including every country in the world. The goal of the agreement is to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, with a target of 1.5 degrees Celsius. Since the signing of the agreement, there have been several updates and developments that are worth noting.
Firstly, in 2017, the United States, one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, announced its intention to withdraw from the agreement. However, in January 2021, the new U.S. President Joe Biden signed an executive order to rejoin the Paris agreement, after it had officially left in November 2020. This decision was welcomed by other countries, as the U.S. is expected to play a leading role in reducing emissions.
Secondly, in December 2020, the 5th anniversary of the Paris agreement was marked by a virtual summit hosted by the United Nations. This summit encouraged countries to increase their climate ambitions and to submit updated, more ambitious nationally determined contributions (NDCs) by the end of 2020. NDCs are the plans that each country submits outlining their commitments to reducing emissions. Several countries, including China, Japan, and South Korea, announced that they would aim to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060 or 2050.
Thirdly, the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) was scheduled to take place in Glasgow, UK in November 2020, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is now scheduled to take place in November 2021. COP26 is expected to be a key moment for countries to come together and agree on more ambitious emissions reduction targets. The conference is also expected to focus on providing financial support to developing countries to help them transition to a low-carbon economy.
Overall, the updates on the Paris agreement show that there is a growing global momentum towards a low-carbon future. The decision by the U.S. to rejoin the agreement, as well as the commitments made by several countries to achieve carbon neutrality, are positive steps towards achieving the goals of the Paris agreement. However, more needs to be done to ensure that the world is on track to limit global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius. The upcoming COP26 conference will be a critical moment for countries to come together and take bold action on climate change.