Why Is The Paris Climate Agreement So Important

Unlike the Kyoto Protocol, which set legally binding emission reduction targets (as well as penalties for non-compliance) only for industrialized countries, the Paris Agreement requires all countries – rich, poor, developed and developing – to take their share and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. To this end, the Paris Agreement provides for greater flexibility: commitments that countries should make are not included, countries can voluntarily set their emissions targets and countries will not be penalized if they do not meet their proposed targets. But what the Paris agreement requires is to monitor, report and reassess, over time, the objectives of individual and collective countries, in order to bring the world closer to the broader objectives of the agreement. And the agreement stipulates that countries must announce their next round of targets every five years, contrary to the Kyoto Protocol, which was aimed at this target but which contained no specific requirements to achieve this goal. (a) to keep the global average temperature increase well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to continue efforts to limit the increase in temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, the potential to significantly reduce the risks and effects of climate change; Many cities, businesses and organizations are considering reducing emissions, following the UNFCCC`s request to become climate neutral by the second half of the century. In the United States, more than six hundred local governments [PDF] have detailed plans to combat climate change that contain emission reduction targets, despite the federal government`s exit from the Paris Agreement. Meanwhile, investors are investing more money in climate-friendly funds. In early 2020, BlackRock, the world`s largest asset manager, announced that it would avoid investing in companies with serious climate risks. Large companies such as Amazon and Starbucks have also made co2-neutral commitments. Some have gone even further to say they will be anti-carbon, which removes more carbon from the atmosphere than they emit. However, critics accuse some of these companies of „greenwashing“: they market themselves as environmentally friendly while pursuing harmful practices.