What is the Paris Agreement?
The Paris Agreement is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), dealing with greenhouse-gas-emissions mitigation, adaptation, and finance. There are 195 signatories to the Paris Agreement that was drafted from 30 November – 12 December 2015 in France. The Agreement became effective on 4 November, 2016 and was signed by member countries on 22 April, 2016.
Fiji is also signatory to the Paris Agreement. Under the Paris Agreement – ALL countries including Fiji are to provide some commitment according to their different capabilities. The goal of the Paris Agreement is holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change. To achieve this goal, the Agreement requires all countries who are Party to the UNFCCC (not just developed countries) to make efforts to reduce their emissions and to submit information on the details.
Paris Agreement & NDCs
An important component of the Paris Agreement is the Nationally determined contributions (NDCs) which reflect the efforts by countries to reduce national emissions and adapt to the effects of climate change. Each country that have signed the Paris Agreement are expected to clearly outline and communicate their post 2020 climate actions – which are known as the NDCs. These actions will determine whether globally the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are met by countries taking into account their circumstances and capabilities at the national level. The NDCs are further being negotiated under the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement (APA).