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The Paris Agreement: Why do we need it?

Climate change is a global issue, and therefore requires a united effort to resolve. The implementation of The Paris Agreement, under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), will strive to motivate nations to take responsibility and control their harmful emissions. The Paris Agreement targets all the aspects regarding the management of greenhouse gas emissions and was accepted on December 12, 2015 but has only gone into effect November 4th, 2016. In total, 196 countries have signed the agreement which accounts for close to 100% of the global greenhouse emissions, which is separate from ratification. Ratification is the formal version of joining the agreement Countries which are notorious for high levels of emission, such as China and the US which are responsible for 40% of the global emission, have formally joined the agreement to take responsibility and begin combatting climate change.

 

The high level of interest from countries to formally join the Paris agreement illustrates how climate change has skyrocketed to the top of the international agenda. The changes observed in the Arctic in the previous 10 years is astounding and cannot be ignored any more. As President Obama thoughtfully said, “This is the single-best chance that we have to deal with a problem that could end up transforming this planet in a way that makes it very difficult for us to deal with all the other challenges that we may face.”

 

The plan aims to manage all forms of emission in order to manage the consequential global rise in temperature with an end goal of limiting temperature rise to below 2 degrees. While this sounds simple, emission is generated through everyday tasks such as factories and cars indicating that this won’t be a straightforward solution. This agreement does not instate emission containment protocols for participants, but serves as a partial binding contract which promotes the development of national plans to counter climate change as well as assesses each countries’ progression to ensure progress. Additionally, the agreement looks at the financial aspects to match the national path for low-emission development. As previously mentioned, this agreement is a binding contract in some senses which will require to countries to continuously develop and upgrade their respective emission-reducing plans to ensure that progress is constant. However, if a country turns its back to the agreement which symbolizes international solidarity, it reflects poorly on the country and can result in consequences affecting internal financial markets and citizens

 

At the end of the day, greenhouse gas emissions are a by-product of chemical waste. Each nation that has joined will have the mandatory requirement of regulating internal activities which contribute greenhouse gas emissions. An issue that most nations will have to address primarily is chemical waste management which can drastically reduce the intensity of pollution, especially in countries such as the US and China. The common problem is that not all chemicals used in the plethora of processes are accounted for and are simply overlooked. If companies and corporations are held to a higher standard, specifically by  implementing a far more stringent guideline reg

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