With the recent news surrounding the United States` decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, it`s important to examine the history and impact of previous climate agreements.
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was adopted in 1992, and aimed to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous interference with the climate system. This led to the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, which required developed countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 5.2% below 1990 levels by 2012.
However, the Kyoto Protocol faced criticism for not including developing countries such as China and India, who have since become major contributors to global emissions. The United States, which signed the protocol but never ratified it, also faced criticism for not fully committing to reducing emissions.
In 2015, the Paris climate agreement was adopted by 196 parties and aimed to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, with a goal of reaching 1.5 degrees Celsius. Unlike the Kyoto Protocol, the Paris agreement included commitments from both developed and developing countries.
The Paris agreement was seen as a major success in the fight against climate change, and was celebrated as the first truly global agreement on climate change. However, with the United States` decision to withdraw from the agreement, the future effectiveness of the agreement remains uncertain.
Despite setbacks and criticisms, previous climate agreements have helped to raise awareness and spur action on climate change. As the global community continues to face the challenges of climate change, it`s important to learn from past agreements and continue working towards a sustainable future.