The Paris Agreement is an international treaty signed in 2015 by almost all countries in the world, with the goal of limiting global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The agreement also aims to strengthen countries’ ability to deal with the impacts of climate change, and to mobilize financial and technological support for developing countries to achieve these goals.
COP28, or the 28th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), is scheduled to take place in 2023. It will be a crucial event for the global community to assess progress towards the Paris Agreement’s goals and to determine the next steps needed to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Paris Agreement Vis-a-Vis COP28
To move towards a more ambitious path, several actions could be taken:
- Strengthening nationally determined contributions (NDCs): Countries should update their NDCs with more ambitious targets to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. These NDCs should be aligned with the 1.5 degrees Celsius goal of the Paris Agreement and should cover all sectors of the economy.
- Scaling up climate finance: Developed countries should provide more financial support to developing countries to help them reduce their emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change. This includes fulfilling the commitment to provide $100 billion per year in climate finance by 2020, and increasing this amount in the future.
- Strengthening international cooperation: Countries should work together to share best practices and technologies for reducing emissions and adapting to the impacts of climate change. This includes collaborating on research and development of new technologies, and supporting international cooperation on energy transition and renewable energy deployment.
- Promoting behavioral change: Governments should encourage their citizens to adopt more sustainable lifestyles and behaviors, such as using public transportation, reducing energy consumption, and promoting sustainable diets.
- Addressing social and environmental justice: The fight against climate change must take into account social and environmental justice issues, such as the disproportionate impacts of climate change on vulnerable populations and communities. Governments and stakeholders should work to ensure that climate action is inclusive and equitable.
- Phasing out fossil fuel subsidies: Governments should commit to phasing out fossil fuel subsidies and redirecting those resources towards renewable energy and energy efficiency measures.
- Promoting sustainable land use: Deforestation and unsustainable land use practices are major contributors to climate change. Governments should promote sustainable land use practices, such as reforestation and regenerative agriculture, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance carbon sequestration.
- Encouraging green public procurement: Governments can lead by example by prioritizing the purchase of goods and services with low environmental impacts, such as those with low carbon footprints or made from sustainable materials.
- Mobilizing private sector action: The private sector has a key role to play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and advancing sustainable development. Governments can incentivize private sector action through policies and financial instruments, such as carbon pricing and green bonds.
- Strengthening climate adaptation efforts: Even if global emissions were to reach net-zero today, the impacts of climate change would continue to be felt for many years to come. Governments should prioritize efforts to adapt to the impacts of climate change, such as through infrastructure upgrades and disaster risk reduction measures.
- Empowering youth and future generations: Climate change is a global issue that will affect future generations disproportionately. Governments should engage and empower youth and future generations in the decision-making processes related to climate change, and support their efforts to advance climate action and sustainability.
By taking these and other ambitious actions, the global community can work towards achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement and create a more sustainable, equitable, and resilient future for all.