The Paris Agreement, a legally binding international treaty on climate change, was adopted in 2015. Its main objective is to keep global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius. To achieve this goal, the Paris Agreement includes provisions on both mitigation and adaptation.
Mitigation refers to efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to limit the extent of climate change. The Paris Agreement requires each country to set a target for reducing its greenhouse gas emissions, known as a nationally determined contribution (NDC). Countries are expected to update their NDCs every five years and to gradually increase their ambition in reducing emissions over time.
To achieve their NDCs, countries can use various mitigation strategies, including transitioning to renewable energy, increasing energy efficiency, implementing carbon pricing, and enhancing the role of forests and other natural sinks in absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Adaptation, on the other hand, refers to actions that help societies and ecosystems cope with the impacts of climate change. The Paris Agreement acknowledges that even if the world manages to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, there will still be significant climate impacts that require adaptation measures.
The Paris Agreement calls for all countries to develop and implement national adaptation plans (NAPs) that outline their priorities and strategies for adapting to climate change. Adaptation measures can include building sea walls to protect against rising sea levels, implementing drought-resistant agriculture practices, and improving infrastructure to withstand extreme weather events.
The Paris Agreement also recognizes the importance of providing financial and technical support to developing countries to help them mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change. Developed countries have committed to providing $100 billion annually in climate finance to support developing countries, with a goal to increase this amount over time.
Overall, the Paris Agreement represents a comprehensive framework for global action on climate change. By focusing on both mitigation and adaptation, it recognizes the need for immediate action to reduce emissions and also the importance of preparing for the unavoidable impacts of climate change. As the world continues to grapple with the increasing challenges of climate change, the Paris Agreement remains a critical tool for global cooperation and action.