Citizen Media Watch

april 11th, 2021

Paris Climate Agreement Simplified

Posted by lotta

Last year, President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris climate accord. The agreement recognizes the role of non-partisan stakeholders in the fight against climate change, including cities, other sub-national authorities, civil society, the private sector and others. Indeed, research shows that the cost of climate activity far outweighs the cost of reducing carbon pollution. A recent study suggests that if the United States does not meet its climate targets in Paris, it could cost the economy up to $6 trillion in the coming decades. A lack of compliance with the NPNs currently foreseen in the agreement could reduce global GDP by more than 25% by the end of the century. Meanwhile, another study estimates that achieving – or even exceeding – the Paris targets by investing in infrastructure in clean energy and energy efficiency could have great benefits globally – about $19 trillion. President Trump is pulling us out of the Paris climate agreement. Professor John Shepherd of the National Oceanography Centre, University of Southampton, says the agreement contains some welcome aspirations, but few realize how difficult it will be to achieve the goals. The desire for a more ambitious target was maintained in the agreement, with the promise of further limiting global temperatures to 1.5oC. On August 4, 2017, the Trump administration officially announced to the United Nations that the United States intends to withdraw from the Paris Agreement as soon as it is legally entitled to it. [79] The formal declaration of resignation could not be submitted until after the agreement for the United States came into force on November 4, 2019 for a three-year date. [80] [81] On November 4, 2019, the U.S. government filed the withdrawal notice with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, custodian of the agreement, and formally withdrew from the Paris Agreement a year later, when the withdrawal came into effect.

[82] After the November 2020 elections, President-elect Joe Biden promised to reinstate the United States in the Paris Agreement for his first day in office and renew the U.S. commitment to climate change mitigation. [83] [84] Negotiators of the agreement stated that the INDCs presented at the time of the Paris conference are insufficient and found that ”estimates of aggregate greenhouse gas emissions in 2025 and 2030, resulting from planned contributions at the national level, do not fall into scenarios at 2oC of the lowest cost, but lead to a projected level of 55 gigatonnes in 2030.” and acknowledges that ”much greater efforts to reduce emissions will be needed to keep the increase in the global average temperature to less than 2 degrees Celsius, by reducing emissions to 40 gigatonnes or 1.5 degrees Celsius.” [25] While the Paris Agreement ultimately aims to limit the increase in global temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius during this century, , numerous studies evaluating the voluntary commitments of some countries in Paris show that the cumulative effect of these emission reductions will not be large enough to keep temperatures below this ceiling.



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