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What is the Paris Agreement against climate change?


The Paris Agreement is a legally binding international treaty on climate change. It was adopted by 196 Parties at COP21 in Paris on December 12, 2015 and entered into force on November 4, 2016.

Its goal is to  limit global warming  to well below 2, preferably  1.5 degrees Celsius , compared to pre-industrial levels.

To achieve this long-term temperature goal, countries aim to  peak  greenhouse gas emissions  as soon as possible to achieve a climate-neutral planet by mid-century.

The Paris Agreement is a milestone in the multilateral climate change process because, for the first time, a binding agreement brings  all countries  together in common cause to undertake ambitious efforts to combat climate change and adapt to its effects.

How does the Paris Agreement work?

Paris Agreement Chart

The implementation of the Paris Agreement requires an economic  and  social transformation  , based on the best available science. The Paris Agreement operates on a  five-year cycle of   increasingly ambitious climate measures carried out by countries. In 2020, countries submitted their climate action plans known as  Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC)

In their Nationally Determined Contributions (known as NDCs), countries communicate the steps they will take to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions in order to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. Countries also communicate in these contributions the actions they will take to build resilience and adapt to the effects of rising temperatures.

Long-term strategies

To better focus efforts towards the long-term goal, the Paris Agreement invites countries to formulate and submit by 2020  long-term development strategies with low greenhouse gas emissions .

The  strategies for long – term development with low emissions of greenhouse gases  provide long – term horizon to certain contributions at the national level, although, unlike these, the long – term strategies are not mandatory. However, they place nationally determined contributions in the context of countries’ long-term planning and development priorities, providing a vision and direction for future development.

How do countries support each other?

Graph Paris Agreement, how it works

The Paris Agreement provides a framework for  financial, technical and capacity-building support  to countries in need.


In the Paris Agreement, it reaffirms that developed countries must take the lead in  providing financial assistance  to the least endowed and most vulnerable countries, while encouraging other Parties to make voluntary contributions for the first time. Climate finance is necessary for mitigation, as large-scale investments are required to significantly reduce emissions. Financing the fight against climate change is equally important for adaptation, as significant financial resources are needed to adapt to the adverse effects and reduce the effects of a changing climate.


The Paris Agreement speaks to the vision of  fully carrying out development and transfer  to improve resilience to climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It establishes a  technological framework  to provide general guidance to the Technology Mechanism. The mechanism is accelerating technology development and transfer through its policy and enforcement subdivisions.

Capacity building

Not all developing countries have sufficient capacity to cope with many of the challenges posed by climate change. For this reason, the Paris Agreement places great emphasis on climate-related capacity-building in developing countries, and calls on all developed countries to increase their support for capacity-building measures for those countries. least advanced.

How are we monitoring progress?

Graph Paris Agreement, world balance

With the Paris Agreement, countries established an  enhanced transparency framework . By virtue of this, starting in 2024, countries will report transparently on the measures adopted and progress made in mitigating climate change, adaptation measures and support provided or received. International procedures are also envisaged for the examination of submitted reports.

Information gathered through the enhanced transparency framework will feed into the  global balance sheet  , which will assess collective progress towards long-term climate goals.

This will lead to recommendations for countries to establish more ambitious plans in the next round.

What have we achieved so far?

While climate change action needs to be greatly increased to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, the years since its entry into force have already led to low- carbon solutions  and new markets . More and more countries, regions, cities and companies are setting carbon neutral targets  . Zero emission solutions   are becoming competitive in all economic sectors and already account for 25% of emissions. This trend is most noticeable in the energy  and  transportation sectors  , and has created many new business opportunities for those ahead of the game.

By 2030, zero-carbon solutions  could be competitive in sectors that account for more than  70% of global emissions .