The Paris Agreement is an international treaty that was signed in 2015 to address the issue of climate change. It is an extension of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which was signed in 1992 and sets out a framework for addressing the issue of climate change.
Under the Paris Agreement, countries that have signed and ratified the treaty commit to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. Greenhouse gases are gases that trap heat in the Earth’s atmosphere, causing the Earth’s surface to warm. The main greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide.
The Paris Agreement establishes a global temperature goal of keeping the increase in global average temperature to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius. To achieve this goal, countries are required to submit voluntary emissions reduction targets, called Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). These NDCs are reviewed and updated every five years.
In addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the Paris Agreement also promotes the adaptation to the impacts of climate change and the provision of financial resources to developing countries to help them transition to a low-carbon economy.
The Paris Agreement has been ratified by 189 countries and the European Union, making it one of the most widely ratified international environmental agreements in history. It is set to take over from the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2020, as the primary international treaty on climate change.