The Paris Agreement, negotiated in 2015 and signed in 2016, aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and keep the global average temperature well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels of around -0.3 °C, and trying to do the best so that the temperature does not exceed the limit of increase of 1.5 °C compared to the values before the industrial revolution. Given the observed global warming trend, this is a truly ambitious plan. But why did the agreement come about at all? What were the key stimuli?
The main impetus for the agreement was and is global warming and its increasingly significant effects on the ecosystem in which we live. Global warming is caused by the growing volume of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, especially by burning fossil fuels. Unfortunately, the rate of increase in global warming has already reached (June 2019) such values that avoiding a global catastrophe means drastic changes in society's behavior, which, of course, do not take place.
Although many have described the Paris Agreement as very successful in the field of international cooperation, it has virtually no legal mechanisms to penalize states that fail to meet their obligations. On the contrary, its innovative contribution lies in the loss of reputation and shame of a power that fails to live up to its obligations to other powers that have acted conscientiously. Each country must set goals that will be higher than the previous ones every 5 years. In regular reporting, it will be clear how the country really stands.
Other partial reasons are all essentially due to global climate change. These are in particular:
- "Sinking" island states due to rising sea levels due to melting glaciers and warming of the oceans
- Huge species extinction and the destruction of entire ecosystems
- Environmental pollution and health consequences
- Larger fluctuations in temperature and weather changes and the resulting material damage and death
- Huge negative effects, especially on the population of developing countries and the deepening of world poverty