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The Paris Agreement: Understanding the UN Treaty Collection

The United Nations Treaty Collection (UNTC) is a comprehensive source of information on global treaties. It includes the Paris Agreement, one of the most notable agreements in recent years. In this article, we`ll take a closer look at the Paris Agreement, its history, and its significance.

What is the Paris Agreement?

The Paris Agreement is a global agreement between 196 nations adopted in December 2015 at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21). Its goal is to limit global warming to 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.

The agreement aims to achieve this by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and enhancing adaptation measures, with a focus on the most vulnerable countries and communities. The Paris Agreement is seen as a significant milestone in international cooperation on climate change.

How does the Paris Agreement work?

The Paris Agreement is a legally binding treaty under international law. Each country`s contribution to the global response to climate change is defined in what is known as a Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC).

NDCs are national plans that outline how each country will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change. Countries are required to submit NDCs every five years, and these plans are expected to become more ambitious over time.

The Paris Agreement also establishes a framework for monitoring and reporting on progress towards the agreement`s goals. This includes a global stocktake every five years to assess collective progress towards the long-term goals of the agreement.

Why is the Paris Agreement significant?

The Paris Agreement is significant because it represents a turning point in global efforts to combat climate change. Prior to the agreement, there was no global consensus on how to address the issue, and many countries were reluctant to take action without the cooperation of others.

The Paris Agreement changed this. It established a global framework for addressing climate change that is both ambitious and inclusive. It recognizes the different needs and circumstances of countries and provides a pathway for all countries to contribute to the global effort.

What are the challenges facing the Paris Agreement?

Despite its significance, the Paris Agreement faces several challenges. One of the biggest challenges is the lack of ambition in many countries` NDCs. Many experts believe that the current level of ambition is not sufficient to achieve the agreement`s goals.

Another challenge is the lack of funding for adaptation measures. Developing countries, in particular, require significant support to adapt to the impacts of climate change. However, funding for adaptation remains limited, and many vulnerable countries are struggling to access the support they need.

Finally, the Paris Agreement faces political challenges. The US, one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases, has withdrawn from the agreement, and other countries continue to resist taking meaningful action on climate change.


The Paris Agreement is a crucial part of the global effort to combat climate change. It represents a significant step forward in international cooperation on this issue. However, it also faces significant challenges, and much work remains to be done to ensure that the global response to climate change is sufficient to protect our planet and its people.