What is Paris Agreement?

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It is an agreement within the UNFCCC dealing with greenhouse gas emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance starting in the year 2020. The Paris Accord is considered as a turning point for global climate policy.


  • The central aim is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
  • It further aims at pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
  • The agreement aims to increase the ability of countries to deal with the impacts of climate change.
  • It also aims at making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development.

Points to Remember

  • The Paris Agreement was adopted by 195 countries at the 21st Conference of the Parties of the UNFCC in Paris on 12th December 2015.
  • It came into force on 4th November 2016
  • As of June 2017, 195 countries have signed the agreement.
  • 148 countries have ratified it.
  • Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs):
  • NDCs are contributions that each country should make in order to achieve the worldwide goals.
  • The level of NDC that each country sets determines the targets to be achieved by the particular country.
  • These contributions should be reported every five years.
  • The principle of ‘progression’ prevails which indicates that the next NDC should be more ’ambitious’ than the previous one.
  • Nicaragua and Syria are the only countries who have not signed the agreement.
  • S.A recently joined the league as Trump announced to pull U.S.A out of the Paris Agreement.
  • The Paris Agreement is not legally binding as a whole.
  • It does not penalise the countries who fail to fulfil their commitments.
  • However, it imposes obligations on countries to implement their plans.
  • This includes a review process every five years, designed to pressure them into compliance and increase their efforts to fulfil their commitments.
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