The Paris Agreement, which was signed by 195 nations on December 12, provides a framework for our battle to maintain global temperature increase to less than 2°C:
- Reaffirm the goal of limiting global temperature increase well below 2°C, while urging efforts to limit the increase to 1.5°C;
- Establish binding commitments by all parties to make “nationally determined contributions” (NDCs), and to pursue domestic measures aimed at achieving them;
- Commit all countries to report regularly on their emissions and “progress made in implementing and achieving” their NDCs, and to undergo international review;
- Commit all countries to submit new NDCs every five years, with the clear expectation that they will “represent a progression” beyond previous ones;
- Reaffirm the binding obligations of developed countries under the UNFCCC to support the efforts of developing countries, while for the first time encouraging voluntary contributions by developing countries, too;
- Extend the current goal of mobilizing $100 billion a year in support by 2020 through 2025, with a new, higher goal to be set for the period after 2025;
- Extend a mechanism to address “loss and damage” resulting from climate change, which explicitly will not “involve or provide a basis for any liability or compensation”;
- Require parties engaged in international emissions trading to avoid “double counting”; and
- Call for a new mechanism, similar to the Clean Development Mechanism under the Kyoto Protocol, enabling emission reductions in one country to be counted toward another country’s NDC.
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