The Paris Agreement

The language for the Paris Agreement was negotiated by representatives of 196 state parties at the 21st Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC in Le Bourget, France from November 30, 2015 to December 12, 2015. It was adopted by consensus on December 12, 2015. 195 UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) members had signed the agreement as of March 2019, and 185 have become party to it.

The Paris Agreement

The Paris Agreement is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change that aims to decrease global warming by mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, adaptation and finance. Its long term goal is to prevent the global average in temperature from getting anywhere near, two degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. As well, it aims to limit the actual increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius. These things would help to reduce the risks and effects of climate change.   

A focus of the Paris Agreement is that each country that is a part of it must determine, plan, and regularly report on the contribution that it undertakes to mitigate global warming. There is no set date or timeline for when a country needs to set targets for itself or the kinds of targets it needs to set, but each target is supposed to go beyond that country’s previously set targets.

U.S. and the Paris Agreement

The United States had been a key player in the Paris Agreement. Its pledge to reduce emissions accounted for more than a fifth of all emissions that were to be avoided through 2030. This was 21% of the total pledged by all other nations.

In June of 2017, Donald Trump announced that he is going to withdraw the Untied States from the Paris Agreement. Under the agreement, the earliest the U.S. is allowed to withdraw is November 2020. This is just before his current term ends. Even though the U.S. is not officially allowed to withdraw from the agreement, the current administration has already changed policies that are contrary to what the U.S. committed to do as their part of the agreement.

France and the Paris Agreement

Soon after Trump announced his intentions to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement, French Environment MInister Nicols Hulot announced France’s new commitment to ban all gasoline (petrol) and diesel vehicles by 2040 and that after 2022, they would no longer use coal to produce electricity. As well, France will be investing 5 billion Euros towards improving energy efficiency.

Norway and the Netherlands and the Paris Agreement

It can be said that Norway and the Netherlands were already progressive when it comes to emissions control, and in the Paris Agreement, they have continued to set stellar examples for others members.

In order to meet its emission target agreements under the Paris Agreement, Norway is going to ban the sale of petrol and diesel powered cars by 2025.

The Netherlands plans to ban the sale of automobiles powered by fossil fuels (the same as Norway) by 2030. Its electric, Dutch national rail network is already entirely powered by wind energy. Their House of Representatives passed a bill in June of 2018 mandating that the Netherlands will cut its 1990 greenhouse-gas emissions level by 95% by 2050. This exceeds the Paris Agreement’s goals.

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