For those of you wondering, here’s the Coleman’s notes version on the about-to-be-ratified Paris Agreement:
The Paris Agreement (French: Accord de Paris) is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) dealing with greenhouse gases emissions mitigation, adaption and finance starting in the year 2020.
The language of the agreement was negotiated by representatives of 195 countries (including Canada – see photo) at the 21st Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC in Paris (aka COP21) and was adopted by consensus on 12 December 2015.
In the Paris Agreement, countries agree to try to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius and do their best to keep it below 1.5 degrees C, compared with pre-industrial times.
It was decided at COP21 that the agreement would only come into legal force after 55 countries representing 55 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions sanctioned it, and signed on the dotted line.
So in October, after the European Union ratified the agreement, there were enough countries that had formally recognized it, for the agreement to enter into force.
The agreement will take effect on 4 November 2016.
Believe it or not, agreeing to the rules laid out in the agreement, was the easy part. Achieving the goals will be much harder.
The Paris deal calls for countries to review their individual emissions targets every five years, to see if they can find ways to achieve deeper cuts as renewable energy technologies become better and cheaper.
The first review is set for 2018 – just a scant two years from now.