International Treaties for Climate Change

International Treaties for Climate Change

The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) conference (COP 21), which provides a credible framework for achieving decarbonization, with long-term goals to combat climate change and a flexible structure based on contributions from individual governments. The signing states agreed to reducing the increase in temperature to less than 2 degrees Celsius over preindustrial levels, with attempts to reduce this to 1.5 degrees Celsius, with the ultimate objective of reaching carbon neutrality in the second part of the century as soon as practicable.

Despite the triumph of COP 21, many issues about the Agreement remain unanswered. The Paris Agreement implementation guidelines were agreed at COP 24 in Katowice, Poland, in 2018 (the so-called Paris Rulebook). The pledge to attain Global Neutrality by 2050 was reiterated at COP 26 in Glasgow in 2021.

The path to decarbonization is obvious, and it is known as the energy transition: the transfer from a fossil-fuel-based energy mix to one with zero carbon emissions and based on renewable energy sources. Decarbonization technologies currently exist, are efficient, and should be utilized at all levels. The electrification of final consumption will make a substantial contribution to decarbonization. This entails replacing fossil fuel-based technology in all sectors – from households to local and long-distance transportation to heavy industry – with systems that utilize renewable power, decreasing not just greenhouse gas emissions but also air pollution, particularly in cities.

Science provides precise facts, estimates, and well researched future situations. Climate change has no bounds and will not abate on its own. A significant cultural revolution, a real paradigm shift, is necessary. There is already considerable consensus on what needs to be done; now it is time to make it a reality.