What is the Paris agreement?
The Paris climate agreement is something that has made the headlines one time or another but what is it and why is it so important?
Climate change has been a controversial and a dominant topic for many years, but it has done a pretty good good job of staying out of politics.Well, had done a pretty good job until the 12th of
December 2015 when parties reached an agreement to "combat climate change and to accelerate and intensify the actions and investments needed for a sustainable low carbon future."
As I've mentioned before, experts believe a higher rise in temperature than 3-4°C would be would be catastrophic and we would then be at the point of no return. The Paris climate agreement was put in place so hopefully we don't go past a 2 or even 1.5 rise in temperature.
On the earth day of 2016 the agreement was officially open for signatures and on November the 4th 2016 it was put into force.As of now we have (drum-roll please)...197 countries' signatures! If I remember correctly that is also the figure you get when you search up how many countries there are in the world.
However, although officially all 197 countries have signed it, you have no doubt heard about the United States Of America withdrawing its signature.On June 1, 2017, United States President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. would cease all participation in the Paris agreement. This withdrawal should be finalised by November of 2020. Donald Trump bases this withdrawal on the belief that it has an "unfair economic burden imposed on American workers, businesses, and taxpayers by U.S. pledges made under the Agreement."
All is not lost though, for Trump will begin negotiations to re-enter the agreement "on terms that are fair to the United States, its businesses, its workers, its people and its taxpayers," . This may end up in changing the agreement further but will, with luck, end with all 197 countries being happy to do their part for the environment.
The Paris agreement is a huge step from the Kyoto protocol of 1997, which wasn't nearly as
popular. There are a lot of things wrong in the world, but this is just proof that we are making progress and that, no matter what you may think right now, there is hope.
We will stop climate change, because it is happening and it is important.
Until next time, remember to be your own superhero.
UNFCC website was used as a source for this post.Click on the link for some more in depth information to feed your curiosity.