What is the Paris Agreement?

The Paris Agreement is a global treaty that has a single objective: to reduce global warming. It was discussed among 195 countries during the COP21, in Paris. The international commitment was approved on December 12, 2015 and officially entered into force on November 4, 2016. A record time for a climate agreement

The Paris Agreement is an international treaty that commits to reducing global warming, with efforts to limit the increase in the temperature of the planet until the end of the century to safe levels.

It was deliberated during COP21, in Paris, and approved on December 12, 2015, officially entering into force on November 4, 2016. As of 2020, the measures that this agreement governs for the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions carbon (CO2) started. The Agreement recognizes the need for an effective and progressive response to the urgent threat of climate change based on best scientific knowledge available. 

O Brazil ratified the Paris Agreement on September 12, 2016 and, in July 2022, the STF equated it to a human rights treaty, granting it privileged status and making it occupy a position superior to ordinary laws.

This is a treaty that aims to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change, in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication efforts.

The Paris Agreement is part of the principle of equity between countries and das common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities in the light of different national circumstances. That is, there is a conception that each country is at a different stage of development, but proposes an emission reduction target compatible with its capabilities. Unlike what happened in the Kyoto Protocol (which was the first international treaty to reduce emissions and came into force after the Paris Agreement) in which only developed countries had targets, all member countries of the Agreement now have mandatory contributions to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

What are the main points of the Paris Agreement?

The Paris Agreement has as its main objective reduce GHG emissions to limit the average global temperature rise below 2C by the end of the century (if possible, to a limit of 1.5C) when compared to pre-industrial levels. 

The Agreement provides that each of the member countries must present its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC, its acronym in English - Nationally Determined Contribution), which must include the goal of reducing GHG emissions that the country considers fair and adequate in order to contribute to global efforts to avoid dangerous temperature increases (Temperature Target Global). 

There are several goals and guidelines that are also listed in the agreement. We highlight a few here:

forests

  • The Paris Agreement establishes that countries must adopt measures to conserve and strengthen GHG sinks and reservoirs, including forests. These are the activities that promote the reduction of emissions caused by deforestation and forest degradation, known as “REDD” activities, or REDD-plus, when they also promote other environmental and social co-benefits in the process.

carbon markets

  • The famous article 6 of the Paris Agreement recognizes the possibility for the member countries of the Agreement to cooperate with each other through market instruments, with the objective of fulfilling their NDCs in a more cost-effective way, and thus increasing the ambition of their goals of mitigation.
    There are two types of market instruments:

    • The famous article 6 of the Paris Agreement recognizes the possibility for the member countries of the Agreement to cooperate with each other through market instruments, with the objective of fulfilling their NDCs in a more cost-effective way, and thus increasing the ambition of their goals of mitigation.
    • Sustainable Development Mechanism (MDS), provided for in article 6.4 Carbon credit projects, both by public and private actors, are certified and validated by a supervisory body created under the Paris Agreement. GHG emission reduction certificates can be used by countries to comply with their NDC

Transparency and global balance (Global Stocktake) 

  • The emission reduction target of countries must be updated or revised every five years and must be progressive, that is, each revised NDC must be more ambitious than the previous NDC
  • Parties should communicate with each other and the public how they are implementing climate action;
  • Monitor progress in fulfilling the commitments undertaken under the Agreement through a solid system of transparency and accountability.

Adaptation

  • The Agreement mentions the need to increase adaptive capacity to the negative impacts of climate change and promote resilience and low-emission development in a way that does not threaten food production.
  • It is recognized that adaptation is a global challenge with local, subnational, national, regional and international dimensions, and a key component of the long-term global response must aim to protect populations, livelihoods and ecosystems, leading to into account the urgent and immediate needs of the most vulnerable

Losses and damages

The Agreement also recognizes the importance of preventing, minimizing and resolving loss and damage associated with extreme weather events, as well as recognizing the need to cooperate and improve understanding, action and support in different domains, such as:

(a) Early warning systems;
(b) Preparedness for emergency situations;
(c) Slow evolution events;
(d) Events that may involve irreversible and permanent loss and damage;
(e) Comprehensive risk assessment and management;
(f) Risk insurance arrangements, weather risk sharing and other insurance related solutions;
(g) Non-economic losses; It is
(h) Resilience of communities, livelihoods and ecosystems. 


Role of cities, regions and local authorities

  • The agreement recognizes the role of stakeholders in combating climate change, including cities, other subnational authorities, civil society and the private sector, who can and must step up their efforts and support actions to reduce emissions, build resilience and decrease vulnerability to the adverse effects of climate change, advocating and promoting regional and international cooperation.

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Sources: 

Paris Agreement / Federal Government:
https://www.gov.br/mcti/pt-br/acompanhe-o-mcti/sirene/publicacoes/acordo-de-paris-e-ndc/arquivos/pdf/acordo_paris.pdf 

CEBDS CEO COP27 Guide:
https://www.capitalreset.com/stf-reconhece-acordo-de-paris-como-tratado-de-direitos-humanos-e-por-que-isso-importa/

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