|| Author: Duncan Riley|

International Agreements To Manage Climate Change

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a United Nations body created in 1988, regularly assesses the latest climate science and prepares consensus reports for countries. Kyoto Protocol, 2005. The Kyoto Protocol [PDF], adopted in 1997 and entered into force in 2005, was the first legally binding climate agreement. It called on industrialized countries to reduce emissions by an average of 5 per cent below their 1990 level and set up a system to monitor countries` progress. But the treaty did not require developing countries, including the major carbon emitters China and India, to act. The United States signed the agreement in 1998, but never ratified it and then withdrew its signature. The 2030 Agenda, and in particular Sustainability Goal 13 on climate change, aims to strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate change as a prerequisite for achieving and ensuring sustainable development. The EU is at the forefront of international efforts to combat climate change. It played an important role in mediating the Paris Agreement and continues to play a global leadership role. However, China and India are now among the world`s largest annual emitters, along with the United States.

Developed countries have argued that these countries must now do more to combat climate change. The Katowice package, adopted at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP24) in December 2018, contains common and detailed rules, procedures and guidelines that regulate the Paris Agreement. On 12 December 2015, the text of the Paris Agreement was adopted, a legally binding pact that contains all the elements necessary for the development of a comprehensive post-2020 climate change strategy – the period leading up to 2020 falls under the second stage of the Kyoto Protocol (the Doha Amendment). Some of the most important points are summarized below: but others provide for the most sensible climate change measures outside of the Paris Agreement. Some experts are calling for the creation of a climate club – an idea championed by Yale University economist William Nordhaus – that would sanction countries that fail to meet or meet their commitments. Others propose new contracts [PDF] applicable to specific emissions or sectors to complement the Paris Agreement. Trading emission reductions between countries and indication of the price of carbon It contains provisions that leave the door open to both emissions trading and progress in the development of carbon pricing systems. The title “Cooperative Approaches” establishes the possibility of an international transfer of mitigation results (international emissions trading) and the establishment of a mechanism for reduction and sustainable development.

While these steps are important for raising awareness and reducing some emissions, “everything is quite small compared to governments around the world setting strong climate policy,” says Michael Greenstone, professor of economics at the University of Chicago, the CFR podcast Why It Matters. The agreement recognises the role of non-stakeholders in the fight against climate change, including cities, other sub-national authorities, civil society, the private sector and others. Human activities increase atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases – which tend to warm the atmosphere – and, in some regions, aerosols – which tend to cool the atmosphere. These changes in greenhouse gases and aerosols combined are expected to lead to regional and global changes in climate and climate parameters such as temperature, precipitation, soil moisture and sea level. . . .

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