What’s been done about it – the Paris story
The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP 21 was held in Paris, France, from 30 November to 12 December 2015.
The conference negotiated the Paris Agreement, a global agreement on the reduction of climate change, the text of which represented a consensus of the representatives of the 196 parties attending it.
It was agreed to limit the global temperature rise to 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels, and pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees.
The agreement will enter force when joined by at least 55 countries, which together represent at least 55 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. On 22 April 2016 (Earth Day), 174 countries signed the agreement in New York, and began adopting it within their own legal systems (through ratification, acceptance, approval or accession.)
Under the agreement, each nation is required to set an emissions target. In advance of the meeting, over 150 countries – representing 90% of global economic activity and nearly 90% of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions – have submitted pledges to reduce emissions.
Around half of these submissions include explicitly energy-focused targets, either alongside a greenhouse gas emissions target or as a stand-alone goal. The most common energy-related measures are those that target increased renewables deployment or improved energy efficiency.