Paris Climate Agreement

Paris Climate Agreement 2019-01-07T10:02:51+01:00

In a nutshell

The UNFCCC entered into force on 21 March 1994. Today, it has near-universal membership. The 197 countries that have ratified the Convention are called Parties to the Convention. The treaty aims at preventing “dangerous” human interference with the climate system.

Paris Agreement: The Paris Agreement’s 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 and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Additionally, the agreement aims to strengthen the ability of countries to deal with the impacts of climate change. To reach these ambitious goals, appropriate financial flows, a new technology framework and an enhanced capacity building framework will be put in place, thus supporting action by developing countries and the most vulnerable countries, in line with their own national objectives.

Aim and focus:

Keeping a global temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial level, while striving to cap increase at 1.5 degrees Celsius

Legal Relevance:  Countries’ commitments are called Nationally Determined Contributions  (NDCs) which become legally binding as countries formally ratify the Paris Agreement (Article 4)

Supported by:  175 out of 197 Parties to the Convention

Implementation period:  2016 with targets to be renewed on a 5-year basis

Reporting and review: All Parties of the Paris Agreement are requested to submit revised NDCs every five year that are recorded in a public register on the UNFCCC website.

Localization and the Role of local government  

Recognition of local and subnational stakeholders as “government stakeholders” (COP16 in 2010, Dec. 1/CP16, §7

Recognition of cities and subnational stakeholders in raising pre-2020 ambitions (COP19 in 2013, Dec. 1/CP19, §5b

“Recognizing the importance of the engagement of all levels of government and various actors, in accordance with respective national legislation of parties, in addressing climate change” COP21 in 2015, Paris Agreement, Preamble

The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy sets baseline and reports on voluntary climate adaptation and mitigation actions for local governments and cities.

Global Climate Action on Human Settlements Reporting Stream chaired by ICLEI

Cities, alongside civil society, the private sector and financial institutions, are invited to scale up their efforts and support actions to reduce emissions, build resilience and decrease vulnerability to the adverse effects of climate change. (Section 5 of the COP-21 conference report)

Some features

ICLEI C40 Initiatives NAZCA

Several measures for mitigation and adaptation at local level


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