The Paris Agreement

On 12 December 2015, 195 countries adopted for the first time a universal agreement on climate change, committing all countries to take action. The Agreement will come into force if at least 55 countries covering 55% of emissions ratify it. Although a landmark in the fight against climate change, the agreement alone will not solve the climate crisis. The poorest and most vulnerable people in the world continue to bear the brunt of the worst impacts of climate change. Our work to help them become more resilient, and to respond and adapt to climate shocks continues. The next five years are critical for scaling up climate action across the world before the Paris Agreement comes into force in 2020, and to deliver on the promises made. The Paris Agreement responds to CARE’s five main demands for COP21
1. Drastically cut emissions from fossil fuels and speed up the transition to renewable energy to keep global warming below 1.5°C
2. Build climate resilience and adaptive capacity of the most vulnerable and marginalised people, and address the loss and damage they are facing
3. Protect the food and nutrition security of the poorest, marginalised and most vulnerable people
4. Massively scale up financial support for poorer countries and communities, and especially for vulnerable and marginalised people
5. Ensure that actions to tackle climate change advance gender equality and human rights
What’s next? The Agreement will open for signatures in April 2016. All countries are responsible for submitting their national climate action plans, 187 countries out of 196 have already done this. Stepping up national implementation is now the key task ahead, with the necessity for organisations like CARE to get involved actively in helping to meet the needs of the most vulnerable. The implementation of the Agreement will be prepared further in the coming years, and a range of technical meetings such as on loss and damage, finance or adaptation, will happen throughout 2016. CARE will engage in some of these meetings. Regular UNFCCC negotiation sessions will be held in May in Bonn and in November in Morocco (COP22). Moreover, many actions were contained in the Lima Paris Action. Agenda1 were announced prior and during the COP21 climate talks. CARE will be critically observing the implementation of these actions.
Adoption of the Paris Agreement shows political will, but its implementation will reveal how serious governments are – civil society will make sure to remind them of the commitments made in Paris.