Thursday, December 17, 2015

Key provisions of the Paris Agreement to combat climate change

Paris Agreement to combat climate change and unleash actions and investment towards a low carbon, resilient and sustainable future was agreed by 195 nations in Paris on December 12, 2015. The agreement’s main aim is to keep a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
The crucial areas identified as essential for a landmark conclusion:

- Mitigation – reducing emissions fast enough to achieve the temperature goal
- A transparency system and global stock-take – accounting for climate action
- Adaptation – strengthening ability of countries to deal with climate impacts
- Loss and damage – strengthening ability to recover from climate impacts
- Support – including finance, for nations to build clean, resilient futures

So far 188 countries contributed national climate action plans that detail their future objectives to address climate change. Countries will submit updated climate plans – called nationally determined contributions (NDCs) – every five years, thereby steadily increasing their ambition in the long-term. They will work together to define a clear roadmap on ratcheting up climate finance to USD 100 billion by 2020.
The agreement’s robust transparency and accounting system will provide clarity on countries’ implementation efforts, with flexibility for countries’ differing capabilities.
The Paris Agreement underwrites adequate support to developing nations and establishes a global goal to significantly strengthen adaptation to climate change through support and international cooperation.
The agreement includes a global stocktake starting in 2023 to assess the collective progress towards the goals of the agreement. The stocktake will be done every five years.
The agreement includes a compliance mechanism, overseen by a committee of experts that operates in a non-punitive way.
Under the Kyoto Protocol, there is now a clear and transparent accounting method for carry-over credits for the second commitment period, creating a clear set of rules.
A number of technical and implementation issues related to the existing arrangements on technology, adaptation, action for climate empowerment and capacity building were also successfully concluded.