On the December 12th, 2015, 197 countries signed the Paris Climate Pact. An agreement holding the signatories to do all they can to limit their effect on climate.
In 2017, President Trump withdrew from the climate pact, just shy of two years after President Obama signed the United States’ participation in the agreement and stating it had created “a world that is safer and more secure, more prosperous, and freer.” 4 years after this decision by Trump, President Biden announced the United States had re-joined the initiative.
This move signals a re-emphasis of the pact’s formality. The United States along with the China are the world’s top two carbon emitters, and hence if either leave a global agreement, it leaves a vast gap others can simply not fill, both in terms of a reduction in emission’s and leadership.
The agreement spans a vast array of topics, and one of the most challenging was how to encourage adoption of limited emissions, whilst acknowledging that less economically advance countries struggle to fund the expensive technologies required to make the shift to renewables, and secondly compensation to small countries who are in a climate deficit down to the carbon heavy activities of the large countries which inadvertently affect countries in different parts of the world. The totality of the agreement was surmised into a 32-page document on the Framework Convention on Climate Change, but the adoption of behaviours and resolutions were outlined at the beginning:
Welcoming the adoption of United Nations General Assembly resolution
A/RES/70/1, “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, in particular its goal 13, and the adoption of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda of the third International Conference on Financing for Development and the adoption of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction,
Recognizing that climate change represents an urgent and potentially irreversible
threat to human societies and the planet and thus requires the widest possible cooperation
by all countries, and their participation in an effective and appropriate international
response, with a view to accelerating the reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions,
Also recognizing that deep reductions in global emissions will be required in order
to achieve the ultimate objective of the Convention and emphasizing the need for urgency
in addressing climate change,
Acknowledging that climate change is a common concern of humankind, Parties
should, when taking action to address climate change, respect, promote and consider their respective obligations on human rights, the right to health, the rights of indigenous peoples, local communities, migrants, children, persons with disabilities and people in vulnerable situations and the right to development, as well as gender equality, empowerment of women and intergenerational equity,
Also acknowledging the specific needs and concerns of developing country Parties
arising from the impact of the implementation of response measures and, in this regard, decisions 5/CP.7, 1/CP.10, 1/CP.16 and 8/CP.17,
Emphasizing with serious concern the urgent need to address the significant gap
between the aggregate effect of Parties’ mitigation pledges in terms of global annual
emissions of greenhouse gases by 2020 and aggregate emission pathways consistent with holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above preindustrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above preindustrial levels,
Also emphasizing that enhanced pre‐2020 ambition can lay a solid foundation for
enhanced post‐2020 ambition,
Stressing the urgency of accelerating the implementation of the Convention and its
Kyoto Protocol in order to enhance pre-2020 ambition,
Recognizing the urgent need to enhance the provision of finance, technology and
capacity-building support by developed country Parties, in a predictable manner, to enable enhanced pre-2020 action by developing country Parties, Emphasizing the enduring benefits of ambitious and early action, including major
reductions in the cost of future mitigation and adaptation efforts,
Acknowledging the need to promote universal access to sustainable energy in
developing countries, in particular in Africa, through the enhanced deployment of
Agreeing to uphold and promote regional and international cooperation in order toUnited Nations
mobilize stronger and more ambitious climate action by all Parties and non-Party
stakeholders, including civil society, the private sector, financial institutions, cities and
other subnational authorities, local communities and indigenous peoples.
Now the United States is back on sure footing with the agreement, adoption of the resolutions and a cascading effect towards countries taking meaningful strides towards meeting the goals is more than likely going to be stronger.