The Paris Agreement is a landmark international treaty aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and limiting global warming. It was signed in 2015 and entered into force in 2016. The agreement has been ratified by 189 countries to date, including all major emitters such as China, the United States, and the European Union.
Each country that is a party to the Paris Agreement is required to regularly report on its emissions and progress towards meeting its commitments. In particular, countries are expected to set targets for reducing emissions and take actions to achieve those targets.
In 2020, countries were expected to submit updated national plans for reducing emissions, known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). These plans were originally due in 2020, but many countries have requested extensions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As of early 2021, the following countries have submitted updated NDCs:
– Costa Rica
– European Union
– Marshall Islands
– Republic of Korea
– United States
These countries represent a mix of developed and developing nations, and together account for a significant portion of global greenhouse gas emissions. Their NDCs detail their plans for reducing emissions over the coming years, including specific targets, policies, and measures.
While it is encouraging to see these countries taking action to address climate change, many experts argue that much more needs to be done. The targets set by most countries are not ambitious enough to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, the threshold beyond which scientists warn of catastrophic impacts.
Moreover, some countries have not submitted updated NDCs, and others have submitted plans that are weaker than their previous commitments. This highlights the challenges of achieving a truly global response to the climate crisis, as nations balance economic interests with environmental imperatives.
Overall, the Paris Agreement remains a vital framework for addressing climate change, but much more action is needed from all countries to meet its goals. As we move forward, it will be crucial to monitor the progress of nations in reducing emissions, and to hold them accountable for their commitments.