The Paris Agreement is a landmark environmental agreement signed by 197 countries in December 2015 with the aim of limiting global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The agreement has been in the news lately as countries gear up for the next Conference of the Parties (COP26) in November 2021. Here’s a roundup of the latest developments related to the Paris Agreement.
1. US returns to the Paris Agreement
On January 20, 2021, the day of his inauguration, US President Joe Biden signed an executive order to rejoin the Paris Agreement, reversing the decision of the previous administration to exit the agreement. The US is the world’s second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, and its return to the agreement is seen as a boost to global efforts to tackle climate change.
2. China announces carbon neutrality target
In September 2020, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced that China aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060, with emissions peaking before 2030. This is a significant commitment from the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, and it could inspire other countries to set ambitious targets as well.
3. UK sets new emissions target
In December 2020, the UK government announced that it would set a new target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 68% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels, as part of its plan to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. This target is one of the most ambitious among major economies, and it sets a precedent for other countries to follow suit.
4. COP26 postponed to November 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted many global events, and the COP26 climate conference was no exception. Originally scheduled to be held in November 2020, it was postponed to November 2021. The conference, which will take place in Glasgow, Scotland, is expected to be a crucial moment for countries to raise their climate ambition and work towards implementing the Paris Agreement.
In conclusion, the Paris Agreement remains a key tool for countries to tackle climate change. The recent developments mentioned above show that there is still momentum towards achieving the goals of the agreement, despite challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic. As we approach COP26, it will be important for countries to come together and show leadership in the fight against climate change.