As host and president of COP21, the France is committed to supporting a multilateral negotiation process and listening to all stakeholders in order to reach an agreement that means: The agreement includes commitments by all countries to reduce emissions and work together to adapt to the effects of climate change, and calls on countries to strengthen their commitments over time. The agreement offers developed countries a way to support developing countries in their mitigation and adaptation efforts, while providing a framework for transparent monitoring and reporting on countries` climate goals. In 1992, President George H.W. Bush, along with 107 other heads of state, adopted a number of environmental agreements at the Earth Summit in Rio, Brazil, including the UNFCCC framework, which is still in effect today. The international treaty aims to prevent dangerous human intervention in the Earth`s climate system in the long term. The pact does not set limits on greenhouse gas emissions for individual countries and does not include enforcement mechanisms, but provides a framework for international negotiations on future agreements or protocols to set binding emissions targets. Participating countries meet annually at a Conference of the Parties (COP) to assess their progress and continue discussions on how best to combat climate change. The agreement recognizes the role of non-party actors in addressing climate change, including cities, other sub-national authorities, civil society, the private sector and others. The agreement officially entered into force on 4 March. November 2016, a few days before COP22, and was ratified by 189 countries (including the European Union 27), representing 96.98% of emissions. The meeting was part of a process that dates back to the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, when countries originally acceded to the international treaty called the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

In response to the need to increase emission reductions, countries adopted the Kyoto Protocol in 1997. This protocol legally committed industrialized countries to achieving emission reduction targets. However, the deal was widely seen as ineffective as the world`s two largest carbon dioxide emitters, China and the United States, chose not to participate. China, a developing country, was not bound by the Kyoto Protocol, and many U.S. government officials used this fact to justify U.S. non-participation. Prof. John Shepherd, from the National Oceanography Centre at the University of Southampton, says the agreement contains welcome aspirations, but few know how difficult it will be to achieve the goals. NRDC is working to make the Global Climate Action Summit a success by inspiring more ambitious commitments to the landmark 2015 agreement and stepping up initiatives to reduce pollution. States parties are subject to certain legally binding rules, such as the obligation for developed countries to provide financial assistance to developing countries in order to implement the agreement. The president`s promise to renegotiate the international climate agreement has always been a smog hedge, the oil industry has a hotline at the Interior Department, and will Trump bring food trucks to Old Faithful? Given that many developing countries and small island states that have contributed the least to climate change could suffer the most from its consequences, the Paris Agreement sets out a plan for developed countries – and others “in a position to do so” – to continue providing finance to help developing countries mitigate climate change and increase their resilience to climate change.

The agreement builds on financial commitments from the 2009 Copenhagen Accord, which aimed to increase public and private climate finance for developing countries to $100 billion per year by 2020. (To put this in perspective, global military spending in 2017 alone was about $1.7 trillion, more than a third of which came from the United States.) The Copenhagen Pact also created the Green Climate Fund to mobilise transformative finance through targeted public funds. The Paris Agreement established the expectation that the world would set a higher annual target by 2025 to build on the $100 billion 2020 target, and put in place mechanisms to achieve this expansion. In fact, research clearly shows that the costs of climate inaction far outweigh the costs of reducing carbon pollution. A recent study suggests that if the U.S. fails to meet its Paris climate goals, it could cost the economy up to $6 trillion in the coming decades. A global failure to meet the NDCs currently set out in the agreement could reduce global GDP by more than 25% by the end of the century. At the same time, another study estimates that meeting – or exceeding – the Paris targets through infrastructure investments in clean energy and energy efficiency could have big global benefits – amounting to around $19 trillion.

As soon as the European Parliament has given the green light, the decision on the conclusion will be formally adopted by the Council. The EU will then be able to ratify the agreement. Currently, 197 countries – every nation in the world, the latest signatory being war-torn Syria – have adopted the Paris Agreement. Of these, 179 have consolidated their climate proposals with formal approval – including the US so far. The only major emitting countries that have not yet formally joined the deal are Russia, Turkey and Iran. The EU and its Member States are among the approximately 190 parties to the Paris Agreement. The EU formally ratified the agreement on 5 October 2016, allowing it to enter into force on 4 November 2016. For the agreement to enter into force, at least 55 countries, representing at least 55% of global emissions, had to deposit their instruments of ratification.

The Environment Council adopted conclusions setting out the EU`s position ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris. Ministers agreed that the EU will seek an ambitious, legally binding and dynamic agreement to keep global warming below 2°C. The Kyoto Protocol, a landmark environmental agreement adopted at COP3 in Japan in 1997, is the first time countries have agreed on legally mandated emission reduction targets. The Protocol, which entered into force only in 2005, set binding emission reduction targets only for developed countries, based on the assumption that they were responsible for most of the world`s high greenhouse gas emissions. The United States first signed the treaty, but never ratified it; President George W. Bush argued that the deal would hurt the U.S. economy by not involving developing countries such as China and India. Without the participation of these three countries, the treaty`s effectiveness has been limited, as its targets cover only a small fraction of total global emissions.

The timely implementation of the EU`s 2030 climate and energy framework was seen as an important sign of the EU`s commitment to the goals of the Paris Agreement. Ministers also stressed the importance of early ratification of the Agreement. The agreement commits rich countries to maintain a financing commitment of $100 billion per year beyond 2020 and to use this number as a “floor limit” for agreed additional support until 2025. The Paris Agreement is a landmark environmental agreement adopted by almost all countries in 2015 to combat climate change and its negative impacts. The agreement aims to significantly reduce global greenhouse gas emissions in order to limit global temperature rise this century to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, while seeking ways to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees.