The Paris Agreement on Climate Change and UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development provides an international framework for action and embrace shared responsibility for peoples of the world and the planet. They provide a vision for the world that is inclusive, resilient and sustainable.
The principal objective of the Paris Agreement is an international pledge to keep the global average temperature increase to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue all efforts to limit the rise to no more than 1.5°C.
The Paris Agreement entered into force in November 2016 and addresses several crucial areas necessary to combat climate change.
Each country must submit a plan to reduce its emissions. Countries will report transparently on actions taken and progress in climate change mitigation.
2050 Net Zero Target
Following the Paris Agreement, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published a Special Report in October 2018 which found that limiting global warming to 1.5°C could be possible but would require unprecedented “rapid and far-reaching” changes in all aspects of society, including a need to reach ‘net zero’ by around 2050.
According to the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) definition, ‘Net-zero’ emissions means that the “total of active removals from the atmosphere offsets any remaining emissions from the rest of the economy. The removals are expected to be important given the difficulty in entirely eliminating emissions from some sectors”.
Green House Gases
There are seven main GHGs that contribute to climate change, as covered by the Kyoto Protocol: carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) and nitrogen trifluoride (NF3). Carbon dioxide is the primary greenhouse gas representing about 75% of all GHG emissions. CO2e is the universal unit of measurement to indicate the global warming potential (GWP) of GHGs, expressed in terms of the GWP of one unit of carbon dioxide.
The five biggest sectors are: Buildings, Grid Energy, Transport, Agriculture, Land Use and Land Use Change.
COP stands for Conference of the Parties, and will be attended by countries that signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) - a treaty agreed in 1994.
The 2021 meeting will be the 26th meeting, which is why it's called COP 26 and will be held in Glasgow, Scotland this year.
I expect the Paris Agreement to be talked a lot about here.