What Has the Paris Agreement Accomplished

The Paris Agreement, which was finalized in December 2015, was seen as a major milestone in the global effort to combat climate change. The Agreement, which was adopted by all 196 signatory countries, set a goal of limiting global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, with a target of 1.5 degrees. But what has the Paris Agreement accomplished in the five years since its adoption?

One of the most significant accomplishments of the Paris Agreement has been the momentum it generated around the world. The Agreement sent a clear signal that countries were serious about tackling climate change, and it helped to galvanize action at all levels of society. For example, many cities and businesses have set ambitious climate goals in response to the Agreement, and investments in clean energy have continued to rise.

In addition, the Paris Agreement has created a framework for international cooperation on climate change. Under the Agreement, countries are required to submit nationally determined contributions (NDCs) outlining their emissions reduction targets and plans. These contributions are then reviewed and updated every five years, in order to ensure that they remain on track to meet the long-term goals of the Agreement.

Since the Paris Agreement was adopted, many countries have made significant progress in reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. For example, the European Union has set a goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, and several countries, including the UK and Sweden, have already set legally binding targets to reach net-zero emissions by that same year.

However, it is important to recognize that there is still a long way to go in the fight against climate change. Despite the progress that has been made, global emissions continue to rise, and many countries are not on track to meet their emissions reduction targets under the Paris Agreement. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the fragility of our systems and the interconnectedness of our societies and environments.

Overall, the Paris Agreement has accomplished a lot in the five years since its adoption. It has helped to generate momentum around the world, created a framework for international cooperation, and spurred progress in emissions reduction efforts. However, much more work is needed if we are to avoid the worst impacts of climate change and create a sustainable future for ourselves and future generations.