The Paris Agreement, also known as the Paris Climate Accord, is an international treaty that aims to mitigate the impacts of climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It was adopted by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2015 and has been ratified by 189 countries worldwide.

The Paris Agreement features several key elements that make it an effective tool in combating climate change. These include:

1. Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)

Under the Paris Agreement, countries are required to submit their own voluntary targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. These targets are known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and are reviewed every five years. This approach puts the responsibility on individual countries to take action, while still allowing for flexibility in terms of how they achieve their goals.

2. Long-term goal

The Paris Agreement includes a long-term goal of limiting global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, with a aim of limiting it to 1.5 degrees Celsius. This goal is backed up by the latest scientific research, which shows that global warming beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius would have catastrophic consequences for the planet.

3. Transparency and accountability

The Paris Agreement requires countries to regularly report on their progress towards meeting their NDCs. This includes submitting regular greenhouse gas inventories and progress reports. This transparency and accountability is crucial in ensuring that countries are held responsible for their actions and are motivated to take further action.

4. Climate finance

The Paris Agreement also includes provisions for climate finance, which aims to help developing countries transition to low-carbon economies and adapt to the impacts of climate change. Developed countries have pledged to provide $100 billion annually in climate finance to developing countries by 2020, with a commitment to increase this amount in the future.

5. Non-state actors

The Paris Agreement recognizes the important role that non-state actors, such as cities, businesses, and civil society organizations, can play in the fight against climate change. It encourages these actors to take action and contribute to the global effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Overall, the Paris Agreement represents a major step forward in the global effort to combat climate change. While there is still much work to be done, these key features make the agreement a powerful tool for driving action and ensuring that countries take responsibility for their contributions to global warming.

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