Cop And Paris Agreement
In 1992, President George H.W. Bush joined 107 other heads of state at the Rio Earth Summit in Brazil to adopt a series of environmental agreements, including the UNFCCC framework, which is still in force today. The international treaty aims to prevent dangerous human intervention in the planet`s climate systems in the long term. The pact does not set limits on greenhouse gas emissions from individual countries and does not contain enforcement mechanisms, but establishes a framework for international negotiations on future agreements or protocols to set binding emissions targets. Participating countries meet annually at a Conference of the Parties (COP) to assess their progress and continue discussions on how best to combat climate change. On August 4, 2017, the Trump administration officially announced to the United Nations that the United States intends to withdraw from the Paris Agreement as soon as it is legally entitled to it.  The formal declaration of resignation could not be submitted until after the agreement for the United States came into force on November 4, 2019 for a three-year date.   On November 4, 2019, the U.S. government filed the withdrawal notice with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, custodian of the agreement, and formally withdrew from the Paris Agreement a year later, when the withdrawal came into effect.  After the November 2020 elections, President-elect Joe Biden promised to reinstate the United States in the Paris Agreement for his first day in office and renew the U.S. commitment to climate change mitigation.   At the 2011 UN Climate Change Conference, the Durban Platform (and the ad hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action) was established to negotiate a legal instrument for climate action from 2020. The resulting agreement is expected to be adopted in 2015. The Paris Agreement has a bottom-up structure, unlike most international environmental treaties that are “top down,” characterized by internationally defined standards and objectives and must be implemented by states.  Unlike its predecessor, the Kyoto Protocol, which sets legal commitment targets, the Paris Agreement, which focuses on consensual training, allows for voluntary and national objectives.  Specific climate targets are therefore politically promoted and not legally binding. Only the processes governing reporting and revision of these objectives are imposed by international law. This structure is particularly noteworthy for the United States – in the absence of legal mitigation or funding objectives, the agreement is seen as an “executive agreement, not a treaty.” Since the 1992 UNFCCC treaty was approved by the Senate, this new agreement does not require further legislation from Congress for it to enter into force.  InDCs become NDCs – nationally determined contributions – as soon as a country formally adheres to the agreement. There are no specific requirements as to how or how many countries should reduce emissions, but there were political expectations about the nature and rigour of the targets set by different countries. As a result, the scale and ambition of national plans vary widely, largely reflecting each country`s capacity, level of development and contribution to emissions over time. China, for example, has committed to cleaning up its CO2 emissions by 2030 at the latest and reducing CO2 emissions per unit of gross domestic product (GDP) by 60-65% by 2030 from 2005 levels.