What is the Paris Agreement?
The Paris Agreement was agreed at the 21st UN Climate Change Conference – COP21 – in Paris in 2015. It is a legally binding treaty which commits the 196 signatories to keeping global warming to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius and further “endeavour to limit” it to 1.5 degrees, compared to pre-industrial levels.
It rests on states making ‘nationally determined contributions’ (NDCs) where they commit to a certain level of emissions reductions, alongside the actions they will take to support this and build resilience. Under the terms of the Paris Agreement, every five years the signatories are expected to submit increasingly ambitious NDCs.
The Agreement also contains a framework to provide financial, technical and capacity building support for states that require it.