3.1 Paris Agreement
The UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) is the international environmental treaty at the centre of global climate decision-making. In December 2015, at the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties negotiations in Paris (COP21), under the scrutiny of the world’s media and public, diplomats from 195 nations negotiated an agreement widely described as the first universal, legally binding global climate deal in the UNFCCC’s history of more than 20 years.
The crux of the Agreement is in Article 2:
- This Agreement, in enhancing the implementation of the Convention, including its objective, aims to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change, in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty, including by:
- a.Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change;
- b.Increasing the ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change and foster climate resilience and low greenhouse gas emissions development, in a manner that does not threaten food production; and
- c.Making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development. 2. This Agreement will be implemented to reflect equity and the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances.
- This Agreement will be implemented to reflect equity and the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances.
Each Nation has a choice about how to contribute, and in 2015 they pledged their planned emissions reductions. This emission reduction is known as an Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (often referred to as an INDC). When a country ratifies the treaty, this is converted into a Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC).