Paris Agreement Obligations

This section distinguishes between two types of commitments in the Paris Agreement, with the aim of showing that this distinction was overlooked in the previous scientific literature – or only superficially established. New terminology will also be introduced. Ambition, effort, “fair share” and cognitive approaches can be ambiguous in the context of the climate regime, where the value of one state`s contribution can only be accounted for in relation to contributions from other states. To avoid ambiguities, I will use two technical terms to replace the ambiguous term of ambition. I define these terms – “S-Ambition” and “T-Ambition” — below. For the purposes of this article, I believe that the term “effort” is synonymous with “ambition” and that the term “fair share” is relieved of the idea of ambition T. I will also use another new term, the “individual mechanism,” to refer to a process or mechanism that will facilitate the reduction of a collective obligation of the state to individual obligations of the state. The NRDC is working to make the Global Climate Climate Action Summit a success by inspiring more ambitious commitments to the historic 2015 agreement and enhanced pollution reduction initiatives. In the agreements adopted in Copenhagen in 2009 and Cancun in 2010, governments set a target of keeping global temperature increases below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The Paris Agreement reaffirms the 2-degree target and insists that the increase be limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The agreement also sets two other long-term mitigation objectives: first, a peak in emissions as soon as possible (recognizing that it will take longer for developing countries); a goal of net neutrality of greenhouse gases (“a balance between anthropogenic emissions from sources and distance by wells”) in the second half of the century. Adaptation – the measures to be taken to deal with the effects of climate change – is much more important under the Paris Agreement than it has done so far under the UNFCCC. As well as the parties will make contributions to the reduction, the Agreement requires all parties to plan and implement adjustment efforts “where appropriate” and encourages all parties to report on their adjustment efforts and/or needs. The agreement also provides for a review of progress in adaptation and the adequacy and effectiveness of adjustment support in the overall inventory that will be completed every five years. The Paris Agreement reaffirms the obligations of industrialized countries to the UNFCCC; the COP`s decision attached to the agreement extends the target of $100 billion per year until 2025 and calls for a new target that, in addition, “extends over $100 billion a year.” The agreement also broadens the donor base beyond developed countries by encouraging other countries to provide “voluntary” support. China, for example, pledged $3 billion in 2015 to help other developing countries. I thank Benoit Mayer for his comments on an earlier version of this article. There is no agreement with the views I express here. I would also like to thank the two review arbitrators for their constructive criticism during two comment sessions.