The Inside Story Of The Paris Climate Agreement

Currently, 197 countries – every nation on earth, the last signatory is war-torn Syria – have adopted the Paris Agreement. 179 of them have consolidated their climate proposals with official approval, including, for the time being, the United States. The only major emitters that have yet to formally accede to the agreement are Russia, Turkey and Iran. I`d like people to stop saying… that the fight against climate change is too complex. We can do it if we wanted to. During the 2016 TED interview on the Paris Agreement, Christiana Figueres, President of the UNFCCC, talks about how she turned her skepticism into optimism after COP15 in Copenhagen. According to Figueres, it started with „impossible is not a fact… It is just an attitude. She then spent six years bringing „relentless” optimism to the climate discussion, culminating in the Paris agreement last year. The 22nd Conference of the Parties will be held in November in Marrakech, Morocco. To date, 87 countries have already ratified the Paris Agreement on the 192 signatories to the agreement in 2015.

These rules of transparency and accountability are similar to those set out in other international agreements. Although the system does not include financial sanctions, the requirements are intended to easily monitor the progress of individual nations and promote a sense of overall group pressure, discouraging any towing of feet among countries that might consider it. In 2009, 195 governments met in Copenhagen under the banner of the United Nations to conclude an agreement on climate change. They have failed miserably, not least because of the deep-rooted gap between the northern and southern hemispheres. Six months later, Costa Rican diplomat Christiana Figueres was called upon to take responsibility for the failure of global climate change negotiations. At her first press conference, a journalist asked if she thought a comprehensive agreement was possible. „Not in my life,” she replied. The initial commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol was extended until 2012. This year, at COP18 in Doha, Qatar, delegates agreed to extend the agreement until 2020 (without some industrialized countries withdrawing). They also reaffirmed their commitment made at COP17 in Durban, South Africa, in 2011, to create a new global climate treaty by 2015 that would require all major emitters not included in the Kyoto Protocol, such as China, India and the United States, to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

The new treaty – which was to become the Paris Agreement – was to completely replace the Kyoto Protocol by 2020.