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A Guide to the Paris Agreement and Internationally. Climate Talks (Part 1)

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This is the fourth article in a series on global climate meetings, the Conference of the Parties (COPs). It examines several key elements of the Paris Agreement and how they have influenced current global climate negotiations. The next article will cover the remaining elements of the Paris Agreement and a final article will reword COP 27.

on Nov. 4eIn 2016, brilliant green lights illuminated the Eiffel Tower and the Arc du Triomphe to celebrate the entry into force of the Paris Agreement. Exactly one year ago, world leaders gathered in the City of Light to create the most comprehensive climate agreement in history. Compared to Kyoto, which took eight years to come into force, Paris was ratified at lightning speed. In addition, the Kyoto Protocol only required industrialized countries to reduce emissions, but the Paris Agreement committed almost every country on earth to climate action. However, will Paris go far enough in the face of rising emissions and increasing climate chaos?

Understanding the Paris Agreement is key to understanding all current international climate negotiations. Discussions about national net-zero targets, international carbon markets and climate finance requirements are based on the Articles of the Paris Agreement.

These two pieces are an accessible guide to the main elements and articles of the Paris Agreement. This piece examines the overall objectives of Paris (Article 2), emission reductions and carbon sinks (Articles 4 and 5), global collaborative efforts (Article 6, 10 and 11), and optimization and loss (Article 7 and 8,

A new framework (Paris 2015, COP 21, global CO2 concentration: 401 ppm)

Paris is much more than just an emissions reduction treaty; It is a unified framework for considering the impacts of climate change and accelerating a sustainable transition. The three objectives of the Paris Agreement are outlined Article 2These include: a commitment to mitigation, “keeping the increase in global average temperature well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and making efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels” (Article 2AThey also relate to a commitment to climate change adaptation and sustainable development by “enhancing the capacity to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change and promoting climate resilience and development with low greenhouse gas emissions”.Article 2BFinally, Paris calls for a commitment to align financial flows with a resilient, low-emission future (Article 2CAs the original United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) did in 1992, the Paris Agreement recognizes national differences in development, resources and vulnerability to climate, and sets the expectation of “common but differentiated responsibilities”.

reduce emissions

Article 4 Outlines the mitigation (emission reduction) expectations of all signatory countries to the Paris Agreement. Nations define their reduction targets, called Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), and plans to meet those targets. NDCs are submitted to the UNFCCC (the body that oversees the COP process) and progress against them is publicly reported. Every five years, if not more often, countries submit new NDCs with increasingly high climate ambition. Under Paris, developed countries are called upon to take the lead in setting “absolute economy-wide emission reduction targets”, while calling on developing countries to accelerate their mitigation efforts and move towards economy-wide reductions. Is. While countries set their own NDCs, the Paris Agreement specifies that the NDCs must support “rapid reduction” in emissions to reach zero global emissions by mid-century. Article 5 Encourages signatories to “preserve and enhance” greenhouse gas (GHG) sinks and stores, such as forests, peatlands and soils. Such conservation and restoration efforts complement emission reduction activities.

global cooperation

Global climate goals are unachievable without global cooperation. That is why the Paris Agreement includes several approaches to strengthen climate cooperation.

Article 6 Defines cooperation mechanisms that countries can use to meet their emissions targets. The first mechanism is the Internationally Transferred Mitigation Obligation (ITMO).Article 6.2, ITMOs are agreements where one country reduces its emissions and then sells or transfers those reductions to another country, which can count the reductions towards its NDC target. The second mechanism is similar to Kyoto’s “Clean Development Mechanism”. The “sustainable development mechanism” allows countries to fund sustainable development efforts in other countries that can be used to meet their own NDCs (Article 6.4The third mechanism relates to non-market approaches that countries can use to help each other advance climate and sustainable development goals (Article 6.8The Paris Agreement requires transparency for all mechanisms to ensure additional emissions from transactions are reduced and double counting avoided.

To stay within our climate goals, emerging economies cannot follow the fossil fuel-based industrialization path of the 1920se century. Energy systems around the world need to skip fossil fuels and move towards renewables and other low-carbon technologies. Unfortunately, most of the funding for low-carbon innovation and implementation is in developed countries. Article 10 Establishes a technology framework to accelerate technology transfer between developed and developing countries. The framework also takes into account technologies that can improve climate resilience.

Article 11 as a supplement Article 10 By focusing on capacity building. Capacity building efforts are focused on developing countries and those most vulnerable to climate impacts. These communities will be supported in implementing their adaptation and mitigation actions. Capacity building also extends to the areas of climate finance, education, training and public awareness Article 12 terribly).

climate resilience

While the public debate on the Paris Agreement focuses on net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, climate change is already impacting lives and livelihoods. The effects will become more severe over time. Article 7 The Paris Agreement recognizes the urgent need to support climate adaptation and build resilience in vulnerable communities. Nations should develop and present National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) that outline risks and efforts for resilience. Across borders, international cooperation on adaptation can determine best practices for assessing climate risks and preparing for climate change. Paris calls on developed countries to accelerate adaptation efforts in developing countries through public, private and blended finance. The need for adaptation finance in developing countries could reach $340 billion a year by 2030, but worryingly, less than a tenth of this amount is currently being provided.

While effective adaptation efforts can mitigate some climate losses, some climate-related events have caused and will continue to cause significant economic losses. Article 8 Strives for climate justice for those most affected by climate impacts and least responsible for historic emissions. The idea of ​​paying for “loss and damage” has been one of the most controversial parts of the Paris Framework. The major historical emitters (the US and the EU) have blocked attempts to assign monetary responsibility for climate loss and damage since the signing of the Paris Agreement. However, the campaign to calculate the consequences of climate change in the most vulnerable areas has been successful. At COP 27, agreement was reached on the establishment of a Schadefonds. However, details of eligibility and how funding will take place remain uncertain.

The following section covers the remaining elements of the Paris Agreement and the path to implementation in subsequent COPs.

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